My long-time doctor once said to me: “Look, I know you.
I’ve done surgery on you. I know you inside and out.
You can trust me on this decision.”
We have put two ideas together: Psalm 139 …
The Psalmist’s writing about God knowing us from our beginning, his love and care for us
And the Jeremiah 29: 10-12 passage where God says:
I alone know the plans I have for you,
Plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster,
Plans to bring about the future you hope for.
I have begun to wonder if God’s plan for us isn’t about our relationship
Instead of God having every day planned out for us.
Maybe it’s about growing the relationship instead of control.
Maybe God says, “Look I know you. I knew you from the time you were conceived.
I know you inside out – how you think, what you feel, how you express yourself,
And I still love you. You can trust me. I know what’s best for you.”
Without doubt, God puts people in our lives at specific times.
We look back and see how a certain person’s contact changed our lives.
Or a spiritual mentor who came along when we were in crises.
Without a doubt, God sends us opportunities in response to prayer for guidance.
Things work out and all we can do is shake our heads in wonder
At the way the pieces have fallen into place.
And without a doubt, God intervenes in physical and non-physical ways.
We recognize God’s answers to specific prayers and know He sometimes says ‘no.’
I see God’s work and think it reflects God’s plan, but I wonder if I don’t have it backwards.
I came across a study about meshing economic theory of cause and effect with daily life.
One thing they studied was parenting skills.
They crunched the numbers and the results were unexpected.
They concluded parents who buy all those books about parenting are very good parents.
However, when they put all their data together,
Their original beginning point wasn’t the right place to start.
They realized it wasn’t the books themselves, or even the correctness of the advice.
But the people themselves,
Parents who care enough to begin with to buy the books and seek advice make the best parents.
Perhaps it’s not so much seeking the plan we should devote time to as much
As we should pursue the relationship with God.
And the ‘plan’ is part of that relationship.
I realize there are people God calls early in their relationship with Him,
And there are people to whom God gives specific abilities that make them who they are
But even they can choose to disregard the call or use the gift in God’s work.
We devote our lives to the study of God’s word, we meditate, debate, read, seek God’s wisdom,
Spend time in prayer, practice the spiritual graces, serve others, grow as close to God as possible,
And perhaps there comes a time when who we are expresses God’s plan for us
Maybe God doesn’t plan each day of our life in the keeping a calendar sort of way
As much as he seeks an individual relationship that changes and refines who we are
So who we become, within that relationship, is God’s plan.
And what we do, the choices we make, the call God sends into our lives, and where we end up
May look like God had an event-specific plan,
But it has grown, and is still growing, out of who we have become.
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