Recently, I have begun working in a medical office and have realized how much of our lives is spent planning ahead. Every day I am making appointments for weeks and months ahead and scheduling many patients for different doctors. Everything is very organized and set up so that doctors can look ahead and see what the predicted future holds. They can see that they have 30 patients on Monday, they can see who is coming in, and they start preparing early for the patients, so they are ready to discuss surgery or other treatment options for when the patients arrive.
This occurs in other areas of life too. Spring break is coming up or may have already come and gone for some of us. Perhaps your family is taking a vacation. You’ve planned ahead for months, you have asked off work, you have started online shopping for the new outfits you will wear, and in your mind you are predicting where you will go.
Sometimes looking ahead so far and with such confidence of the future you have planned for yourself, it can make you forget that you are not in control. I can schedule appointments and you can prepare for your spring break adventure and in our minds, they are going to happen, but this does not give us control of the future. A patient might cancel the appointment, or the doctor might become sick and be off work for two weeks, or an unexpected covid quarantine mandate might put an end to your dream vacation. Another example is college, when you leave high school, you might plan to go for four years and end up getting engaged and married in the first year and drop out halfway through. We are not in control. Matthew 6:34 reminds us of this when it says, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for things of itself”. This verse is God reminding us that we will not be able to control the future, our plans WILL change, but He is comforting us by reminding us that He is in control and that although in our eyes canceled patients and ruined vacations seems like a shift in our plan, these changes are part of God’s perfect plan.
So no, I am not saying you should not prepare for the future at all so that when the time comes you are not prepared. Do not stop preparing for patients and organizing your day in the office, do not stop being efficient in making sure that you have asked off of work for a vacation. However, make sure to realize how important it is that you must trust God. He is the one leading you through life, not yourself. Trust His plan, trust the way in which He leads you. Do not stress if life turns a 180-degree direction from the way you were thinking it would go, it is His plan after all, not yours. He is there to lead you and His plan is the best plan. What does this mean? It means that His plan will lead you to Him. If one sheep of 99 goes astray, God will lead it back. Proverbs 16:9 comes to mind here, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps”. We can have confidence that God cares for all of His people and therefore we have no reason to doubt or do anything but trust His plan. Glorify God for this! By ourselves we are lost so He is actively leading us to Him!