There has been much planning and preparing in our house lately. We seem to be on
the verge of several changes and transitions in our home, so it seems wise to discuss
and have a plan for the upcoming year. I am definitely a planner and I thrive on
making things efficient and effective. My husband is the visionary, so as long as we
are patient and communicate with each other, we can be a great team. As a planner
however, I tend to get consumed with details and can get frustrated when things
don’t follow my plan. Now, I have been married for a few years, have two small boys
and have lived abroad long enough to be slightly more flexible than before, but still
my nature and tendency is to plan, control and micromanage.
It is in these moments, when the future seems uncertain, that my mind races and I
try to think through every possibility. I view the next year as a big Tetris game and
it is my job to make it all fit into place. Even as I write this I am convicted because I
can see so clearly my lack of trust in the Lord. Didn’t I just post about how my
words for the year were trust and rest?
So as I remembered to trust and rest I began to argue with the Lord a bit. How do I
rest when there is so much to do? Determined however, I sat and wrestled with my
own lack of trust and inability to rest. I read and meditated on scriptures that God
has brought me to frequently.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.” Prov. 3:5-6
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
But then, God brought me to Psalm 90. There was one verse in particular that
caught my eye and my heart. “So teach us to number our days, that we may present
to you a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) This one verse caused me to reread the
Psalm several times. With each reading I was struck to the core, and as He often
does, God began to help me see parts of His character and nature in a deeper way;
His eternality, His power, His omniscience.
“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations; before the mountains
were born or you gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to
everlasting, You are God.” Vs. 1-2
“For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it passes by or as a
watch in the night. You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep.” Vs.4-5a
Read the whole Psalm, it’s worth a few minutes. As God reveals just glimpses of His
amazing power and eternality, we then see our frailty and how transitory we are.
We make so many plans, when in reality they just pass away with a blink of an eye.
Now, I am not suggesting that we throw all planning out the window. There is room
in scripture to suggest that planning is wise (Luke 14:28-33, Prov. 21:5, Prov. 14:8).
However, it seems that right and wise planning is done within the context of the fear
of God and with an awareness of His presence and power. So we come to vs. 12
again, “teach us to number our days that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.”
The more I think upon this verse, the more I see that my planning tips the scales to
foolish when not within the proper context. All this…in one little verse.
Given my nature, I don’t think I am going to stop planning altogether and throw
every care to the wind. But upon further reflection I don’t think that is what God is
asking me to do. He gave me my personality, and my temperament and he gave it to
me that I might reflect His glory. It is a curious thing, these personalities God has
given us. So much of what I thought was upbringing, and training is very much
imbedded within us in our personalities from birth. I have learned this by observing
my two boys and watching their personalities, interests and quirks emerge.
For a long time I have considered aspects of my personality sinful (there are in fact
many that are sinful) but every personality trait has the ability to glorify God or not.
So I am concluding (at the moment) that I will plan, but as I plan now, I see that I
first hold everything loosely acknowledging God’s power. I must number my days
and plan in light of the fact that I am not promised tomorrow. I will take time to
meditate on God, His word, His character and know that it is time spent wisely.
Are you a planner? Do you wrestle with surrendering your plans to the Lord and
trusting Him with the outcome? Challenge yourself….stop and take some time to rest
in His presence and give the outcome of whatever is before you, to Him.