Do I make plans without considering the will of God?”

Do I make plans without considering the will of God?”

As I went to get the milk from the fridge this morning, that question starred back at me from its little page, hung so purposefully with a butterfly-shaped refrigerator magnet.

How many times have I wrestled with that question? And, yet, I still become anxious over my projected to-dos being foiled. For example, today’s list says:

  • Pray/Bible time (haha, yes, I really wrote that down)
  • Work/School assignment
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Schedule salon appointment
  • Pay gas bill

But then one of my friends was having a difficult time and so I needed to be there for her. That was not time I accounted for on my to-do list. So, something may get bumped from the day’s schedule. I can either choose to let that stress me out, or I can choose to be joyful as I move through the rest of the day. Proverbs 16:22 says,

A joyful heart is good medicine.”

On a larger scale, I am prone to worrying about my future and relationships. From reconciling an argument with Mom, planning for my next move, completing a class, and saving money, to wondering if I will get married and where my lovely family will live in the future. I am overwhelmed by the very thought of having to make those decisions. However, God says He will help:

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel.” – Psalm 16:7

Also, did you notice that each item on my above worry list have something in common? They all contain the word “I” or “me.” Hmmmm. But my life isn’t all about me, and thank God for that. In fact, the most peaceful times have been when He consumes me with love and service for other people. Proverbs 16:1 says,

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.”

It is humorous to me, now, that I can read that simply significant truth over and over again…and then forget it just as quickly. He has the final word!

So, yes! I do make plans without considering the will of God because I am too afraid of what the outcome might be. And, I get into the habit of thinking my projected outcomes are better. Ridiculous! He is the God of the universe for goodness sake.

Eventually, I get to an uncomfortable place, when my knees and hands melt into a posture of prayer, surrender and ultimately relief. And I can hear His still small voice saying, so beautifully summarized by John Hiatt,

When the road gets dark,
And you can no longer see
Let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in me.”

So this morning there I was again, saying to God,

Okay big guy, I give it all up to you once again: relationships, ministry, activities, thoughts and words. Forgive me for thinking that my plans are better than yours. Bless today’s work, unless it is not honoring to you. Give me the discernment to know what is important to get done, and the ability to be flexible if something more important comes up, like if someone needs help. Thank you for counseling me when roads diverge and I don’t know which way to go. Above all, let Love guide my steps and help me to be an imitator of You. Amen.”

Refrigerator magnets have a new special place in my heart.


With a BA in Public Communication and certificate from the Denver Publishing Institute, Shannon has worked in book publishing and ministry. She currently stays home with her son and writes when she has the time. She is grateful for her small group, coffee, the Bible and living by the lake, and she enjoys laughing with her husband and son, finding good taquerias (and then eating there), reading historical fiction, and being outside. An amusing marriage tidbit: while she and her husband enjoy doing many of the same things, like watching 24, they walk at very different paces, which they find both funny and annoying. She lives on Chicago's north side.

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