“Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” (II Timothy 1:9)
In school I was frequently assigned a seat near the back of the classroom. (I’m tall and teachers sometimes did that.) Then the time came that I began to squint while trying to read the teacher’s writing on the board. Squinting did not help much; the letters remained fuzzy and indistinct. I had become nearsighted eyes and needed to move closer to the board to see.
Fuzzy and indistinct is also how many of us view God’s will for our lives. We puzzle how one could possibly figure out His plan. Will it be difficult? Will it mean leaving friends and family to live in some foreign land? What if He requires something we don’t want to do? Will we always feel miserable? Or is it possible that God’s will might be something enjoyable and fulfilling?
Roadmap or Relationship?
Listening to Christian radio in my car one morning, the speaker had me scrambling for pen and paper and hoping for a red light so I could write his exact words. “The will of God is not a roadmap but a relationship,” he said. That statement required serious thought before I agreed.
All healthy relationships share some basic characteristics, such as good communication, trust, and commitment. Both parties contribute to its development. This involves mutual respect with each seeking the good of the other. When we trust God, we acknowledge that all His plans for us are “good and acceptable [pleasing] and perfect” (Romans 12:2). We need not fear what He might ask of us because we are united in a common purpose.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven” (NKJV). God’s plan for our life may change with the seasons of life. We are not the same person at twenty as we are at fifty. The years bring change and new experiences—entering adulthood, choosing a career, marriage and children, retirement. At each stage, God may have a different undertaking He wants us to accomplish for Him. However, if our relationship remains strong as the seasons change, we will sense the direction He is leading and not feel anxious and fearful.
God does not show us the entire picture of our life all at once. It would overwhelm us. Instead, He leads us one step at a time.
prepare for the task
A friend recently questioned, “If I think God has a certain plan for me, do I just jump right in and start doing it?” Our first thought might be, “Of course. Get busy!” But the wiser course of action is to begin to prepare for the task you feel God is showing you and allow Him to open the door in His good time. Trust involves patience. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).
Many times in life, I’ve been like that nearsighted girl squinting to read the board. I wanted God to write His plans for me in big, bold, unmistakable letters. He could easily have done that, but my way would have bypassed the development of our close relationship. Instead, as I drew closer to God, the fuzziness disappeared. I could clearly see His intent for me. It was good—all good.
Lord, thank You for the relationship we share. Help me to be patient as You reveal your plan for this season of my life. You are completely trustworthy, and I know that whatever purpose You choose will be perfect for me. Help me to follow Your leading and step into Your perfect will.