“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,” says the Lord , “plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.“
I definitely thought I had things all figured out when I was in my early twenties. I lived for the weekends and for pleasure, and my friends and I just wanted to party as much as we could. Being a club kid was difficult living far away from the bigger cities, and my plan was to move on to bigger and better things. The problem was that living in the city, or at least living there the way I would have liked to live, was really expensive. I tried my hardest for years to make things work out, to find a job and a place to stay, to move away from the small town and live the big city lifestyle, but nothing ever panned out. That was my plan, but someone made sure that it would not be fulfilled.
When I review the circumstances of my salvation, I see that it was God’s plan to have me stay in this small town and this community of people for a reason. He has shown me that I am needed here and that I had a family here unknown to me back then. God was working on building my community of Christian brothers and sisters well before I had any thoughts the following Jesus. Yes, God could have planted me anywhere for the purposes of his kingdom, but I see how He planted me where I have been all along. Perhaps one day He will send me somewhere else, somewhere more exciting or exotic, but God never wanted to fulfill my plan of living the self-centered life I was trying to build.
Saying “yes” to God does not mean that we no longer have plans and hopes and dreams. All it means is that we agree to sacrifice those ideas if He has something else in store for us. If given the option between my plan and God’s, I would be a fool not to choose his plan every time. He ordains my days based on his unlimited vision, knowledge and wisdom. I could not plan my life any better with all of my limitations. Sacrificing our plans for God’s plans really is just trading them in for the bigger, better deal. Father, make us willing and happy to lay down what we want to do and where we want to go in exchange for what You have planned for us.