Ever since I can remember, I have loved organization. My mom often talks about how I would organize the candy in the line at the grocery store, making sure each candy bar was in the right container and everything sitting just right. Over the years, I've seen this gift of mine continue to grow. I've been an administrative assistant and personal assistant - basically organizing companies and other people's lives. There's just something to having an order to things.
During the peak of 2020, I organized everywhere I could possibly think of in my house. My pantry is my proudest achievement. And if this was an organizational blog on Pinterest, I would go on and on about how I only spent $26.16 at Dollar Tree on my white bins that fit perfectly into my pantry. How I labeled each bin with just a simple notecard and a sharpie and how people come over just to marvel at my pantry....After I show it to them of course.... I digress.
Organization and planning go hand in hand. In order to be organized, you have to have a plan going in. Trust me. I've tried going to the store without a plan and it typically ends in frustration and then a trip back to the store once I have measured and made a list.
So, why am I going on and on about organization and planning on a church blog? Because I believe God LOVES plans and he *might even* like messing ours up. We see it all over the Bible.
For instance: Abraham and Sarah - they were very, very old before their first child. I'm positive that Sarah would have preferred labor in her twenties over her nineties. I'm sure that Abraham thought that he would be running around the playground with his child when he was about thirty.
God had a different plan. God had them wait, wait, and then wait some more.
But no, God had a different plan. God had them wait, wait, and then wait some more. When Abraham was seventy five years old, God promised him descendants that would out number the stars. Abraham had to wait 25 more years for that promise to even begin to come true.
Another story I think of is Ruth, a young widow. She was married and had been for about ten years. Then, her husband dies. Oh and not just her husband but her brother in law and father in law. She is left alone with only her bitter mother in law. I'm sure that this was not her plan. She had dreams of children and growing old with the love of her life. All of that was gone.
She had dreams of children and growing old with the love of her life. All of that was gone.
Fast forward a bit and she meets a rich guy who is interested in her and treats her right, they get married, and have a baby. Turns out in the end, Ruth is Jesus' great great great etc... grandma. I'm absolutely positive that being the Messiah's grandma was not a part of her plan.
Finally, I think of Matthew, one of Jesus' twelve disciples and the author of the first book of the New Testament. Matthew was a tax collector, basically the traitor of the day. He was the worst of the worst. Everyone hated him because he worked for the enemy, the Romans. Often times, tax collectors would rip off their own people to make an extra dollar. To put it lightly, they were not liked.
To put it lightly, he was not liked.
But Jesus saw something else in Matthew. He saw beyond the title. He saw beyond the sin. He saw beyond everything on the outside. He saw potential. Matthew's story would be one that was told over and over again. Jesus knew that Matthew would be symbol of just how far the grace of God will go. It's not for the perfect. It's for the lowest of the low.
After thinking of these three stories, more of the Bible, and even my own life, I notice three things about God and planning.
God doesn't hate planning.
Have you ever heard the phrase: "We plan. God laughs." This is probably true but I also believe that God made us in his image. We are similar to God. We get angry. We love. We have patience. We are creative and we plan, just like God. Well maybe not just like God, but kind of.
When we plan, it shows that we care and that we are good stewards of what God has given us. Luke 14:28 says: "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?" Planning takes thought. Sometimes, it takes love.
When we plan, it shows that we care and that we are good stewards of what God has given us.
Think of planning out a proposal. You want to have a proposal that will honor the person you've chosen to spend your life with. You don't want to just throw it together last second. You want to take time to plan out everything so they'll see how much you love them.
God has a plan, always.
From Genesis to Revelation, you can clearly see that God has a plan. In Genesis 3, God had a plan set up for Jesus to come right when Adam and Eve sinned. It didn't take him any time at all to know what to do. He even tells them the plan right there: "And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Think of it kind of like Marvel and Pixar movies.
I think of this as almost like an Easter Egg (pun intended). God isn't outright telling everything about the plan but he's sneaking in little things here and there throughout the Old Testament. Think of it kind of like Marvel and Pixar movies. Both these major companies know which movies are coming out way before we all do. They know which character is going to do what. They have a plan and they sprinkle in hints throughout their movies to help us anticipate and look forward to the plan they have for us. It gets us excited but we don't know the whole thing ever. There's always more to discover. Even in our lives, we can look back to see how God may have been at work. But we never know everything. We only have Easter Eggs and theories to see what God is fully up to. But, there is something thrilling and enjoying about the search.
God is ultimately in control, not us.
This is probably the hardest one for me to grasp. As a planner, I like to know what's going to happen. I like to know that Friday is at the end of each week and that I can make my sugar free vanilla non fat latte every morning at 8:45am. Obviously, we can't always know what the plan is. Sometimes, it's really hard to not be in the driver's seat and it's even harder to trust someone we can't necessarily see.
But I hope this blog helps you see that God is constantly working and does have it all figured out. I know it always helps me to look back and see how God worked out things for me in the past. I can see how he had me in certain situations for different reasons that I couldn't see at the time. Then, there's those things that I'll never understand this side of Heaven but I know that I can trust God and his plans.
If you're looking for ways to see how God has worked out his plan in your life, I challenge you to journal about these two thoughts.
Think of a time in the distant past that was difficult.
How can you see God use that for your good?
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