Best or B?
Recently, I’ve been convicted of how I unintentionally view God’s provisions as Plan B. I cognitively know that what the Lord has purposed for my life is better than anything I could possible dream of and yet I often have these snide thoughts when He reminds me of this truth. I think we can all relate to this on some level but the most obvious example is when times get tough or we get frustrated. My mother is great about listening to an issue and then saying, “Have you prayed about it?” If I think back over my day I often realize I talked to my friends about my issues, I read the bestseller, I listened to the podcasts and THEN I talked to God about it. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to my Father or that I don’t like to pray because I really do but sometimes it doesn’t feel as tangible or worse, I HAVE prayed about it but I want something more because that just doesn’t feel like enough.
I was really convicted about treating God’s plan like a backup a few days ago when I was reading my devotion. Truthfully, when I sat down I was just feeling a little blah and disgruntled over my singleness. Nothing was truly wrong but Satan had been pushing buttons to make me feel discontented and a bit hopeless so as I opened up the Scriptures I asked the Lord to specifically speak truth into this frustration. I was delighted to find that my reading included a quote from Marian Knight Edelman, “Help me, God, to slow down, to be silent, so I can hear You and do Your will and not mine.” Wow! That was just the prayer my heart had spoken and here it was printed on the page. I love “God winks”!
It got even better when I turned to the scripture readings and found the first was from Psalm 5:1-3 which is literally David crying out to God with his heart’s requests. I was overwhelmed! Here the Lord was speaking directly into my disgruntledness. In fact, I had to laugh when I got to verse 3 because I had obviously been stuck here before. I like to write things in the margins of my Bible and find that the Lord will use these little notes as great reminders weeks, months and years later. Verse 3 says, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” The “and wait expectantly” part was highlighted, circled and had this small note…”Do I?” I’ve confessed this before but I don’t always wait expectantly for the Lord. I speak with the Father about what’s on my heart but so often fear and doubt creep in before the prayer is even done but on this morning I was excited for another “God wink” and I promised Him I was listening.
The scripture readings went on to include 1 Peter 3 which is full of lovely instructions for husbands and wives on how to treat one another in a godly and honoring way. I was thinking “Yes, Lord! I see your instruction and guidance. I see You speaking to me.”
In fact, everything was fine and dandy until my eye was caught by another scripture circled with notes, Isaiah 62:5. Funny enough, I circled Isaiah 62:4 because it contained my grandmother’s name, Beulah, and that’s what initially caught my eye but it’s in verse 5 that I found my conviction. It says “As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you”. What a beautiful promise and yet my initial thought was “I guess that will have to do if I can’t find a ‘real’ husband”. Y’all it embarrasses me to admit this because that is such an ungrateful and ignorant thought but it’s how I felt.
For a moment I was truly disappointed that I would have to settle for the Lord rejoicing over me instead of a man. Once again, cognitively I know that I could want nothing more than the Lord’s plan for my life…even if that plan leaves out things I want or think I need. I have seen time and time again how the Lord is such an amazing and good Father whose plans are often beyond my own imagination but that doesn’t change my emotions. I don’t always FEEL that His plans are bigger and better than my heart’s desires. I KNOW it’s true but my emotions still get all tangled up and Satan loves to step in at those moment and run with them. Satan is cunning because he won’t even tell me the Lord’s plans are bad. He knows I’d recognize that lie but he does suggest that mine would be better and that feeds right into my doubt, fears and pride.
Faith means trusting the Lord’s provision without necessarily understanding what is and isn’t included in that plan but that doesn’t mean you can’t understand the heart of the Father. I think of it like a child with their earthly father. A small child can’t understand why their dad would let a stranger stab them with a needle because they don’t understand vaccinations but they still cling to their dad. That moment doesn’t make sense but the relationship does. They know their father loves them!
See, no matter how I feel I know that the Lord will never give me a plan B because He loves me. He is a perfect God who can’t be petty or selfish or forgetful. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying…That doesn’t mean life is easy or I think I’ll get everything I want but it does mean that “all things work for the good of those who love Him…” as Romans 8:28 tells us. I may not understand the highs, lows and in-betweens of my life this side of heaven and I may not get what my heart desires but I can hold tight to the fact that His promises and plans will never fail me if I can only see them with an eternal perspective.