James 4: Making Plans

 James 4:13-14  Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

When I met DH, we had time frames for all kinds of things we  planned to do.

1) Before we got married, I would move to his city, find a roommate and a job.  No job was found and the one potential roommate I met did not excite me after living gloriously by myself.  So, I stayed in my city until we married.

2) I would find a full-time job once we got married.  I continued to have  a terrible time finding work.  Even the temp agencies (my old standby) were so inundated with people looking for work and companies not looking for employees that they never even responded when I called or emailed them.   About 4 months later I did get a very part-time job through a lady DH knew.

3) We compromised on when we’d start trying for our first child.  We ended up getting pregnant about 5 months sooner than we had anticipated.

4) We planned to sell my car (a two door without four-wheel drive in a state that gets lots of snow and we live in a mountainous region) and get a more family friendly vehicle before our daughter arrived.   I was furious with DH for agreeing to meet somebody who was interested in my car when we were supposed to be at lamaze class.  Thankfully he did though (he had them meet him in the parking lot where the class was so he was only gone for a few minutes) because we sold the car to those very people.

5) DH had planned to buy a specific car for me a few days after my car sold.  But  I went into labor (two weeks early) the night before he was to see the car.  We did end up getting that car, only a few days later than we had planned.   And DD ended up in DH Jeep for the ride home from the hospital.

6) We bought a new house and planned to sell the old one.  Except not only is it a terrible time to be selling a house, nobody has even made any kind of offer on our old house!  So, we are renting it out for the time being.

I am a planner by nature, and DH is too.  I don’t think it is entirely wrong to plan for the future.  In fact, I think it can be wise.

At the same time, I think it is wise to be flexible and open to whatever the Lord has in mind that may will differ from your lovely timeline.

When I think about my life being just a mist, it boggles my  mind.  It gets me thinking about what kind of impact I’ve had on the people in our world.  It makes me want to set aside everything that steals my time and energy – the mundane – and focus on what’s important.  Eternity. Leading others to Christ.

But for the most part, I tend to get bogged down in the everyday things.  Caring for my daughter.  Trying to declutter our home.  Figuring out what’s for dinner.

This past Sunday we had a guest speaker at church that really got me excited about an opportunity to meet and influence international students for Christ.  I was making plans in my head, figuring out who would watch our daughter while we went to the training etc.  But, DH has been involved with the organization (before we met) and as I started telling him about my plans, he told me he felt the time commitment was too much for our family right now.

So now here I am, still feeling passionate about meeting non believers  (pretty much the only people I know here are from our church).   But not feeling like I have an outlet.

Lord, I pray that you would bring non believers into my life, help me to step out of my comfort zone and be bold for you.   And help me to not get too attached to my plans.  Amen.

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6 thoughts on “James 4: Making Plans

  1. There is such a delicate balance…… to have passions and pursue dreams that God gives us. And to act and make plans for those with excitement and enthusiasm. But to hold them loosely and let the Lord have His way. Then when a curveball comes in, to not loose enthusiasm, not get frustrated and simply say “oh, this is how we are going to do it. thanks God!” Sometimes if we just have to laugh lovingly at God’s way. He’s thinking “Silly Lori. You really think it’s going to be that easy? Here you go again playing God :)”
    Be gentle on yourself dear sister!

  2. i’ve been struggling with similar issues, but these verses are proof that God isn’t going to let us hanging out there. if it lines up with His will & brings glory to Him – He’ll honor your prayers. Maybe not in this original way that you would have liked, but He’ll bring another – more appropriate – opportunity!

  3. God has been teaching me to hold my dreams (just another way of saying PLANS!) loosely and to trust Him enough to make them an offering. That is hard, as I, too, am a natural planner. I love how you traced God’s hand in rewriting your plans. And I love how your story — your mist of a life– isn’t over yet. He’s the Author and Perfecter, and He’s still unfolding your tale.

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