The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, ESV)
Anxiety slowly choked me out as my brain fumbled to process all of the possibilities. I ranted to my best friend over the phone, frantically explaining all of the uncertainties that fogged my mind and panicked my soul. I didn’t know what to do, I felt completely and utterly lost.
Sometimes I don’t ask for wisdom from God very politely. I straight-up demand it, with a prideful heart and impatient attitude. Why hasn’t he answered my prayer yet? If he truly wanted to give me wisdom like he promised, why hasn’t he yet?
Sometimes I leave the Lord out of the equations in my plans, forgetting that truly I can’t do anything on my own. I’m a naturally independent woman, I like to do things myself and not depend on others. The bad habits in our lives are often the hardest to kick.
Sometimes the Lord has to teach me the same lesson more than once. It’s almost as if as soon as he teaches me one lesson I expect to progress to the next. Thanks, God! Sweet! Now I know what pride I have in my heart, glad I don’t have to exercise patience in the area of life where you just showed me I have none! Wrong.
You see, sometimes I ask the Lord to reveal his steps for me, but instead, he seems only to reveal my lack of faith, lack of trust, lack of patience, lack of humility. And it isn’t that he’s withholding something good from me, but he’s simply showing me his plan for the here and now.
I can’t live staring five steps down my path without tripping (burning out and feeling exhausted, defeated, and downright miserable). Once I’ve decided which trail I’m taking, I need to be diligent of each step in front of me, or else I’ll never stay on track. If I can’t climb the log of impatience today, how will I cross the stream of pride next year?
When you’re feeling crushed by the inability to see into the future, recall to mind that the Lord is faithful, and he isn’t unable to move us forward when we’re too exhausted, scared, or uncertain of what’s next. Continue walking step by step in faith, continue to keep your eyes on him, and continue seeking him when all else fails, because ultimate failure won’t be the reality for those who are called according to his purpose.
“for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
In those moments where we feel trapped in the anxiety of crumbling plans, and in those seasons of life that are filled with so many unknowns that you can’t even take a baby step forward, and even in the moments when we’re confident of the layout of the next six months – God is the one establishing it all. Our plans will be fulfilled because of him, our plans will change course because of him, and ultimately our plans are futile without him.