When God knows what he’s doing but doesn’t fill us in on the details
One thing that 2020 has taught us is that the only thing we can rely on in this life is the unpredictability of change.
Isn’t it funny how that works?
Our worlds have been flipped upside down, jobs ripped away, routines thrown out the window, and many of us have been given an unfamiliar title of “teacher” to our kids. We must readjust to very different work environments, saturated in sanitization. Relationships have been tested, the church has been shaken, and many of us have been tempted to run back to those unhealthy things simply to feel some sort of comfort in familiarity.
We’ve done our best to settle into a new routine. We’ve been forced to become more creative, think outside the box. Some of us have adjusted our sails with ease, pivoting in a different direction from where we thought life was taking us. Others are just barely keeping their heads above water, hoping and praying that the next wave doesn’t take them out. And then there are others who are sitting, impatiently waiting for this whole thing to be over. Anxiously awaiting for things to just “go back to normal”.
But here’s something to think about, what if they don’t?
Some of us are just waiting for the clock to strike 12 on December 31st to bring on the new year. Like, somehow, 2021 is going to reset everything. We seem to think that if we could just get through these next few months, just make it to New Year’s Eve, everything will go back to normal and we’ll wake up on January 1st, 2021 remembering this whole thing as some terrible dream. Sorry to say it, but that’s highly unlikely.
But is “normal” even worth going back to? Sure, it was comfortable. It was familiar. And we had happily sunk into our mind-numbing routines.
Maybe a good shaking is what we all needed.
This year has placed many people back to square one, creating a divine pause, allowing us to look at ourselves and what’s going on around us. Many of us have felt conflicted, feeling the heavy burden of the expectations that everyone, including ourselves, have put on us to push through this season with an unfazed facade. And in refusing to lose the approval of others or drop our own unattainable standards, we continue pressing on with resilience while panicking on the inside at the thought of revealing that we’re not actually okay.
Trying to make things work in our own power is exhausting. We create images for ourselves based on the influence we see around us. We set up vision boards, create a 10-year plan, buy a whole new wardrobe to match what we think we’re supposed to look like, date a specific type of person, and we only post perfectly polished pictures to social media. #livingmybestlife #ilovemylife #positivevibesonly
God forbid we admit that we feel lost or that we don’t know what to do. God forbid we admit that we’re not perfect! But sometimes, God needs to get us to a place of feeling and being able to acknowledge our weakness. We seriously forget that we do need Him. That we cannot do this life well without Him. So sometimes, he’s gotta knock us down a few pegs to remind us that we’re not “all that and a can of Root Beer”. And we shouldn’t be ashamed of that. In fact, it’s in our faults that God’s power shines through. We’re reminded in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that His power is made perfect in our weakness.
At any moment, as we’ve witnessed, any of our accomplishments or things we pride ourselves on can so easily be ripped away, causing us to look to the heavens and shake our fist in anger at God. We’re all down here hyperventilating into paper bags trying to figure out how to make this mess work into the perfectly timed plan we made for ourselves.
Doesn’t He know how much this year has inconvenienced our lives?!
We’re down here stressing, but God is looking at us with an endearing smile, trying to whisper encouragement to remind us that He’s got each one of us right where we need to be. He’s got a plan.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jer. 29:11
The Message Bible puts it like this,
… I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for – Jer. 29:11 (The Msg)
He knows what he’s doing. Despite how we feel in the moment, or what we may start believing, we must remember that God has it all planned out! Even if it’s not the way we envisioned, preferred, or could even understand. Surely, none of what’s happened this year was on anyone’s 2020 vision board.
None of us know what exactly His plan is. And many of us have fallen as victims to 2020, whether it’s a job loss, an emotional struggle, heartbreak, or a mental health battle. We’ve been in this season of craziness for 7 months now. And while many of us have adjusted to make the best of it, waiting for things to get better, it doesn’t seem to get any easier.
We may not understand any of it, but we must remember that God has an incredible plan for each and every one of us. And that’s not just some cliche Christianese saying. Some of us may feel lost or completely abandoned in this season, but God is still with us doing work behind the scenes. We don’t have to understand the why of any of it, even though that’s all we ever want to do. As a matter of fact, most of the time we won’t understand why. Which can be incredibly frustrating.
It’s okay if we feel lost and unsure about what to do next. Take it to God. Ask him to fill you with peace. Take your focus off the chaos and put it on Him, the one who created you and loves you more than you will ever know. Because He knows what to do. He’s got a plan and He knows what He’s doing. Our job isn’t to figure it all out and make it work the way we think we should, as tempting as that is. God only asks that we trust him. And we can do that by spending more time with him and not worrying every second of every day.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)
God’s got a plan. We may not know all the steps. We may feel like our world is falling apart around us. We may not have a clue as to how any of this will end. But we do know that God’s got a plan for our future. And He promises it’s gonna be a good one.