Some of us are better planners than others. My husband, for example, is better at planning to get to the airport for a flight than myself. This is something I have worked on after a badly planned experience.
I calculated how long it would take me to drive to the airport and drop off the rental car, and so I stayed at the restaurant with my friends, enjoying the conversation and laughter. However, I hadn’t left myself any wiggle room. So, when I missed the entrance for the car rental return and then had to circle the airport to get back to where I needed to be, I began to panic.
Eventually I swung into the lot. I jumped out of the car, threw the keys on the seat, and slammed the door. I heard an ominous click and to my horror, all the doors locked. My suitcase sat out of reach as I peered helplessly through the rear window.
No spare keys were to be found in the rental office and tools to open the door had to be located from another location. I waited and waited, pacing up and down outside the car, watching the minutes tick by and boarding time creep closer and closer.
I made it to the airport eventually, but missed my flight. However, I did manage to catch the last flight of the day that got me home safely, if rather tired. Since then I have become a better planner.
The Bible expects us to plan; to make decisions about what we are going to do.
Sometimes though we can become paralyzed in how to start. We can think that God’s plans supersede our own. If God is sovereign and in control of everything that happens in the world, and our lives, why bother with preparations, can be one reaction. Or we may plan with trepidation thinking that our plans are not good enough or God-honoring, that God will thwart them at any time. Then we live with anxiety.
But the Bible gives us specific instructions on how to plan well. And when we do, we learn an encouraging truth about God and what he says about plans and planning.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (Proverbs 16:3). In other words, trust God with your ideas and intentions. And when you do, this is what you will discover:
Your plans will be established
Proverbs 16:9 says: In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. The word “establishes” means to “make firm” or “erect” like a foundation. With God, your plans will become solid and good. God doesn’t take us in the opposite direction to our plans, he makes firm our steps.
Your plans will become clearly defined
Plans are general but steps are specific. Be assured that God is in the details: 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.
Your plans are secure
Your plans are in good hands—God’s hands. You may stumble but you will not fall or fail. Psalm 37:23-24 (NIRV) says: The Lord makes secure the footsteps of the person who delights in him, Even if that person trips, he won’t fall. The Lord’s hand takes good care of him.
What kind of God works with our plans when we commit them to him? One who rules the world fairly and with goodness. One who knows the beginning from the end. One who is infinitely wise when we are finite and lack wisdom. One whose sovereign will and plans are good. One who wants to give us a future and not to harm us.
Maybe what’s happening in your life is different from your plans, or maybe the way ahead seems rough and not plain sailing. When it is, then we discover God is right there with us. Your God says:
But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they’re going. I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch. These are the things I’ll be doing for them— sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.”Isaiah 42:16 MSG
You are so wonderful that you don’t leave me
to put my plans into practice on my own.
Today, I commit my plans to you knowing that
You are with me in the details,
You make my steps firm and secure,
You are reliable and trustworthy.
And you have good plans for me.
Hold my hand, make sure I don’t fall,
And be my guide.