I’m a planner. I have to-do lists on my phone, my laptop, and on several pieces of paper throughout the house. It sounds crazy, but this is basically my attempt at keeping every day in order… until life throws something at me. I get sick, plans change, etc., then I stress because I don’t get to finish, or even start, what I was planning on doing. This happened to me just last week – I got sick AND our plans changed for the weekend because my husband had a day off from work, so you could say my mind was going a million miles an hour just because things weren’t going MY way.
I often find myself so consumed in my own plans that I forget that my God has everything under control.
One word that brings both joy and stress to many college students is “graduation.” College is all about gaining an education so you’re prepared to run into the real world and put your knowledge into action. This causes SO much unnecessary stress in students’ minds, along with myself, as we begin to wonder what the future holds for us. Will we have a high-paying job? Will we like our job? Will we have to move to another city, state, or even country? Will we get married or start a family? Will we make friends? Will we have enough money to eat? Will we have a nice house? The questions could go on and on, but God is above all these worries. I feel like sometimes He sneaks in ways to give us a little touch on the shoulder, relieving us that He already has our lives figured out.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
How comforting is that? No matter what plans I make for my future, what I do or don’t check off my list every day, or what seems to go wrong, God has already taken care of it. He has a map of where He’s guiding me, and I just need to hop in for the ride and trust that He’s got it all under control.
Let me tell ya about a guy named Noah – the one with the ark. When he was born, his father, Lamech, named him Noah and said that he would bring relief, because his name actually sounds like the Hebrew word for “rest”. So anyways, hundreds of years later – God told Noah that He was going to destroy all life here on earth, so it was up to him to build an ark, bring his family, food, and many different animals to start the beginning of this new world (side note – the picture I attached at the top of this post is what I imagine the sky looked like when the rain clouds finally opened up… maybe it was prettier). Noah probably had other plans in mind, but he didn’t question or comment on anything God had set in front of him; he just trusted that God would provide what he needed – he was obedient.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” – Matthew 6:33
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3
These verses call us to action – to be obedient in placing The Lord’s plans before our own, and this is exactly what Noah did. God may not be asking us to build a 450-foot long ark to prepare for rain that would last 40 days, but it may mean prioritizing time spent with Jesus rather than making checklists, or seeking answers from God first before making any big decisions.
When I catch myself in the morning praying, “God, where are you taking me today?” instead of, “please just help me get through today,” – 1) I’m in a way better mood throughout the day, and 2) I’m filled with rest and comfort knowing that God is the one in control.
I encourage everyone who’s reading this to write down the following on a piece of paper: “God, where are you taking me today?” Put it on your bathroom mirror or your kitchen table – somewhere you will find it first thing in the morning, so that it reminds you to focus on Jesus first. Ask Him to guide your life and give you rest, because He’s already got a plan.