Our culture encourages us to follow our dreams – the ever-prevalent idea that we must make it our life’s mission to achieve sky-high goals. To “keep our eyes on the prize.”
I’m a dreamer. And with my dreaming comes planning – extensive planning. Sometimes so much planning that I become consumed because one of my greatest fears is the unknown.
Not knowing what the future holds is so uncomfortable for me; I’m not convinced I’m alone in that fear. We fear we won’t get what we want out of life. We fear our plans won’t pan out, so we cling to them for dear life, hoping they’ll stick.
It’s a vicious cycle that causes us anxiety. And it’s quite frankly a form of unbelief. When God’s plans are different, we treat God like He isn’t good. We allow ourselves to believe that our own plans are better.
I find myself questioning God when His plans aren’t what I expected. Lord, how is this supposed to benefit me? This isn’t what I asked for. I never wanted this. Why am I here? What’s the purpose in this?
Control. It’s hard for us to accept that we aren’t in control so we ask these questions.
I think it all boils down this:
We aren’t trusting Him.
We all want our lives to mean something, so we plan it all out. But the question is, do our lives really mean something when we aren’t trusting God?
God is good.
When He changes our plans, it’s good. When he shifts our direction, it’s good. No matter how confusing, no matter how difficult, it is good.
It’s simple – He knows the future; we do not.
We won’t always have the answers. We won’t always understand His timing. We won’t always understand His design. But the beautiful thing is we don’t have to carry those things– we don’t have to know all the reasons why something is happening because He knows what He’s doing.
His work is better than our work.
We don’t have to take on the task of planning every single detail of our lives because we have been freed. We don’t have to cling to a plan because He has a perfect plan for us. We don’t have to try on multiple purposes because we have a unique purpose.
What if we trusted Him? What if we trusted Him so much that we found complete joy in the plans He has for us, even when we don’t understand?
When we believe God is good, we stop obsessing over our plans and we start chasing after His.
We overcome our fear of the unknown when we truly believe what is known – that God is good.
Don’t get me wrong – planning is necessary because we really don’t know what the future is. Proverbs 21:31 says, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”
God wants to use us. He is preparing us for greatness, and He wants us to meet Him in that preparation. He wants us to be diligent in our planning. And as we prepare for what He has in store, He sets us free from pursing things that aren’t what’s best for us. So we can keep dreaming, we can keep setting our goals high, and we can keep planning if we are walking in faith.
We all know things don’t always turn out the way we thought they would. Therefore, we have a choice: we can live in trust or we can live in unbelief. Peace versus anxiety.
Moral of the story?
Be a diligent planner but give God control.
Work to meet your goals but stay in the Word.
Be a dreamer but keep your heart open & know God can do immeasurably more than anything you could ever dream up on your own.