The mind of man plans his way,
the Lord directs his steps. –Proverbs 16:9
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.-James 4:14-15
Both in Old Testament proverbs, and New Testament wisdom, these verses are so simple and clear in their recognition of God’s power, the finiteness of our human perspective, and the simple truth that our lives are in the hands of an all-knowing, all powerful God. It is so tempting as we go about our day; planning hours, weeks, and months ahead of time to lose sight of the fact that all of our plans are subject to change. We are not in control of our schedules, or the outcomes of our lives. Rather, they are subject to God’s work, will and purpose.
Yet, rather than making us feel small, and unimportant, how much more should this truth infuse our lives with purpose, excitement and peace! Because if it is the LORD directing our steps—the Lord who knows all things, and has revealed himself as a good, loving father, one who sacrificed His son to redeem us—Then does He not know so much better than us what we need? These verses do not call us not to plan, but instead to humbly lay our plans and their outcomes before the God of the universe who knows exactly what each day will hold, and specifically where our steps should take us.
This truth is especially relevant right now—as we are busy planning and organizing for a summer of ministry. We have made (or are making!) purposeful strategies, creating schedules and filling the calendar with dates and times for serving people, and designing opportunities for them to grow closer to God. And yet we have no idea what this summer will hold. The challenges, struggles, victories and growth is all still unknown to us. But we are trusting in the God who knows all to provide, guide, and strengthen us for this summer of service, and to do the work that only He can do to change hearts and lives. There is such peace and joy in knowing that although we are busy planning—God is guiding and directing our steps every day!
Regardless of the details of your day, or the ways your plans have changed, rejoice and rest in the fact that though we may plan our way, it is God who is directing our steps.