I wrote about this on Instagram the other day but God has me in Jeremiah. Why? No idea. But I’m learning not to question…much.
What I was struck most by this verse was the context it was in. People pull it out as hope that everything is going to be fine. But that does it a disservice and others. Because sometimes things aren’t fine for a long time.
In Jeremiah, the prophet was sent to tell the people God was done with their shenanigans, that they were going to be captured for 70 years. And then bam…I have plans and they aren’t to harm you.
I mean let’s be real. I would be seriously questioning that statement. Excuse me God but captivity sounds a bit harmful. Burning the city. Killing people. That also sounds a bit harmful. How does any of that prosper me?
I’ve asked that question before about situations though. It’s one of my favorites. Listen. I know you’re the God of the universe but I don’t really like what you’ve chosen to do here. (But what I do like about the God of the universe is he lets me do what I had to do at work yesterday. Close the door for a minute and be a little unprofessional). Maybe it’s my red hair but I need to tell someone off sometimes. And God can take it. He knows my heart right? And sometimes my heart is mad.
What I’m learning, the hard brutal lesson, is my plans are so tentative. I need to release control…surrender my ideas of what is right and what is wrong and what should happen and watch and see what He will do. Of course sometimes what He would do is have me act, but sometimes He says, “shhhh. Not this time. This isn’t your fight.”
But I have good plans, God. And I’ve known since I was 5 that I wouldn’t always like the way things turn out. But how egotistical is it of me to think I know better than the God of the universe? The guy that is holding the playbook and has read the ending. Convicting.
So I pray every day for surrender, to learn to roll with what happens, to be ok when my plans don’t work out. To roll with the punches sometimes.
I’ve been having to work a lot lately. Like today was day 9 in a row…luckily not all of them on the floor, but enough. My prayer every weekend (and most Monday nights) is “God you know I don’t want to, but if I have to change my attitude and put me in the path of whoever you have for me to serve today/tonight.” It doesn’t make me any less exhausted. It doesn’t help my sad struggling bank account. But it helps me not to spiral into anxiety and all the things when things happen out of the ordinary.
And believe me…people who know me well…my people would call that amazing growth. And it’s not me. It’s all God. Because I still want to control the things but I open my hands and trust that it’s for some good, not to harm me. I trust that even when I don’t understand he has a plan. I believe that even if I don’t like it, that doesn’t make it bad for me. (I like a great many things that are bad for me.)
And realistically if you look at my track record, I haven’t done so hot with running the show. And I’m realizing that and accepting it.
The first step is to realize you can’t. The problem was I always thought I could. And I thought I could do it better…than anyone…including God. I thought if I tried hard enough, was perfect enough, did and said all the things to make someone proud, that everything would be ok. But it wasn’t. I sure wasn’t.
So I want to lean into the plans He has. One day at a time. Surrendering whatever I try to grab onto. Asking him to rebuke me if needed because like Habakkuk said, even a rebuke is better than no words at all.
This peace that comes from surrender…I never want to lose it for long. It’s new and I like it. I lost it for a little this weekend, but I want it back. So I surrender everyone and everything to You, God, like John Eldridge reminds us in One Minute Pause. Everything. And everyone. None of it’s mine. I am not even my own. I was bought with a price. And life is so much better that way.