“You ought to say instead, ‘If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:15, New English Translation).

A good friend and I live about fifty miles apart. It’s not a great distance, but meeting for lunch requires extra planning. We don’t just run into each other around town. This week we texted about our next time together, and my friend added two small words to the end of her message: “Lord willing.”

Growing up, it wasn’t unusual to hear this phrase tagged onto many conversations, such as, “I’ll see you next week, Lord willing.” It recognized God’s control in our lives. Unfortunately, we don’t hear those words very often today. e

How much do we really include God in our daily lives and decision making? Do we seek Him only about the “big things” in life? Whether we like it or not, “small” decisions often have big, far-reaching consequences. I have watched friends crash and burn because they did not seek God’s will in a situation. What they thought was a “little thing” changed the direction of their life in ways they never imagined or intended.

I watched this happen with a friend. For some reason I never fully understood, she decided she should leave her job and move to another state. When God didn’t work anything out within her timeframe, she left anyway. Things seemed fine at first, but then it all began to unravel. Her choices seemed much like what we read in James 4.

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.’ You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes” (verses 13-14, NET).

It’s easy to fall into the habit of running our lives without considering what God might desire for us. We forget His plans exceed anything we could imagine for ourselves. This doesn’t mean life will always be worry-free and without pain. It does mean God works everything out for our ultimate good. His blessings rest upon us when we allow Him to guide us.

“Walk just as he has commanded you so that you may live, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land you are going to possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33, NET).

Prayer: Remind me, Lord, that Your plans for my life far surpass mine. You know what is best for me and will guide me in all my decisions when I allow You. Keep me from running ahead of Your will and help me patiently wait to hear Your voice.



Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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