Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 23:4-5 (NIV)
I wonder if Jesus ever felt frustrated when God changed His plans for the day. Did Jesus feel that angst that comes from having to re-arrange your schedule and commitments? I like to think that He did. But when I read stories where Jesus had to relinquish control, He didn’t seem to have any angst. He simply, but completely, surrendered His agenda and found joy in an absolute dependence on His Father.
God’s challenging me to have that same mindset these days. Although I’m not much of a planner, I’ve felt God calling me to become one to bring order to my days and calm to my chaos. The hard thing is that when I make plans God will ask me to surrender my plans for His. And since confession is good for the soul, I just have to confess that it’s stinkin hard sometimes. I’ll start to worry about getting things done when they are postponed or what others will think if I have to cancel.
I don’t usually see what God is doing at first. Most of the time it feels like a big interruption in an already hard to balance busy life. But when I pause to listen to His quiet voice in my soul, I sense God telling me His best for my life will only be found in absolute dependence on Him, and this is part of the process. It’s part of Him fulfilling my desire for His perspective and presences in my everyday life.
I’ve had lots of “growth” opportunities in this area ever since I started writing about it last week. I was scheduled to record radio shows last Friday morning to get ahead. I’d written my shows, practiced over and over, got my kids to school, kissed my husband good-bye for the weekend (since I was leaving town) and started getting ready. A friend called and while we talked I noticed my voice was scratchy. Not good. I kept drinking hot tea and humming doe-ray-mees but my throat wouldn’t warm up. Scratchy doesn’t sound so good on the air. Much to my disappointment I sensed God telling me to call my producers to cancel. Sounds easy? It’s not. I have to schedule three people for these recordings and finding a day everyone is available is challenging. I had no choice so we re-scheduled for today. And my plans for this week got re-arranged, too.
Initially, I didn’t see this as a God-interruption. I attributed it to allergies and decided to get ahead on this week’s to-do list. I was feeling a little hungry so I opened the fridge to get something to eat. That’s when I noticed we were short on food. A thought went through my head that this “extra time” would give me the opportunity to make a menu and buy groceries for JJ and the kids’ for the weekend.
Now you need to know that I am emotionally allergic to the grocery store. It’s truly my least favorite place. It makes me tired to go there and I’d be heading out of town so I needed to rest, right? Plus my husband loves the grocery store! Surely, God would not want me to take that blessing from JJ. I thought I’d just write a quick menu and grocery list for JJ. That would be kind enough.
Nope. God wanted me to go and do the whole thing.
What I didn’t share is that I was feeling really sad the night before about going out of town. I didn’t want to be away from my family. And I had prayed about it and asked God to fill that empty place with peace. And you know what? After grocery shopping, I felt like a great mom and wife when I came home and loaded my pantry and refrigerator with food for my guys before I headed to the airport. I felt like I had loved my family well and made a big deposit in their accounts when my boys got off the bus that day.
Only God knew how it would bless me as much as it would bless them. When I left town later my heart felt so full knowing that I had loved JJ in special way because he knows its my least favorite thing to do. And my boys were so excited to have extra special snack options when they got home from school. Their whole weekend was full of fun and food at their fingertips! Every time they ate they were reminded that mom was thinking of them before she left town.
I am so glad God answered my prayer and prepared my heart and my home for me to be away this weekend. I pray that each day Jesus will be give me His eyes to see and ears to hear the faithfulness of my Father even when I don’t understand why His plans are better than mine.