In several places in the Bible, it tells us that what God has planned for us is so much better than what we have planned. James tells us why. “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:14-15 CSB) Our lives can be so uncertain. We don’t know everything.
I don’t believe James is telling us that we are not to make plans, we should so that our lives are not so chaotic. But we need to take into consideration that God knows what lies ahead for us even when we don’t. He has a greater plan for us than we can ever imagine. James tells us that we can make our plans, but it would be wise to consult God first about what we want to do, so we don’t commit the sin of presumption. I’m not a “plan your life out for the next five years” type of person. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. Whatever happens, happens. Now, for someone like my sister, who plans everything, that would upset her apple cart to the extreme! But I see her seek God’s will for her plans. She doesn’t get too upset when things go out of whack. She wasn’t always like that. She about gave herself ulcers when she was younger. At that time in her life, she wasn’t where she is now with the Lord, and she has learned to trust Him since then, and for me, it’s been exciting to watch her grow in God.
For me, when things go haywire, I may ask, “What are you doing, God?” Only one time in my life did I almost go into a panic attack when plans fell through. When I was preparing to marry my current husband, two weeks before the wedding, the flower shop that was to do our flowers decided to close, leaving me with no boutonnieres, flowers for me and my bridesmaids, or decorations. I was running around trying to find a flower shop that could step up and help me. Fortunately, one was able to help me out and our wedding flowers looked beautiful. I don’t know why this happened, but maybe God stepped in for a reason. I heard from several people afterward that they had received poor service from the first shop. There were a lot of people blowing up Facebook with complaints about how they left customers hanging. The Bible says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs19:21 ESV) Now, you may ask, “Does God care about something as insignificant as flowers for your wedding?” I don’t think it’s the flowers so much as it is that He loves me, and He wants me to be blessed. He knew that I wanted our wedding to look the best it could, and He stepped in and made what could have been a bad situation, excellent!
James tells us that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so we should go to God with our plans. We should ask Him if what we have planned is in line with what He has planned for us. When He changes the plans, we are to trust Him and follow Him. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV) When we put God into our plans, we can be assured that they will be the best plans for us. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (CSB) God wants us to succeed and be blessed. As Believers, we should include Him in our plans for the future and be adaptable when He decides to take us in a different direction. Trust Him…His plans are best!