“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” ~ Proverbs 19:20
Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a Korean who shared that as a male, they have to think a lot about the future in order to eventually provide for their family. That means they need to maintain good scores in middle school, to get into high school, to get into a good university, to get a good paying job, to own a nice house and car, to get married, and then to have a family. For many Koreans, they have to think seriously about this as they enter in middle school. Middle school! But they must prepare ahead because of the competition and culture. To me, it sometimes feels like many of their lives are planned out for them. On the other hand, my case is a bit different.
There is no doubt that I have mentioned this before: I like to make plans. I cannot sit around all day not having something planned out. Even so, I find this making-plans-deal to be a lot more difficult as an adult, especially being a young adult. There is so much I want to accomplish in my life and having the freedom to do so it just as awesome. I can picture myself doing several kinds of jobs, studying several kinds of things, and doing it all for the Lord. However, although I can see myself doing these things for the Lord, they are not necessarily the things the Lord wants.
In both of these cases, all these plans, whether we plan them or they have been planned for us, can be changed in an instant. Why? Because the Lord’s purpose prevails. It is true that we have the choice in our lives, but above all the Lord’s purpose prevails. The future is an uncertain place to be in. Who knows what will happen the next day or the next hour, and even though we plan for the next minute, anything can happen, especially something that has not been planned.
During those times of stress and worry over the future and plans, I often find the Lord telling me to be still. He doesn’t need to add many words. All He has to say is “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NIV). Sadly, my mind can’t seem to be still. Interestingly though, being still is also an act of faith. This life is not ours, this world is not ours, and our plans don’t really belong to us. God is the omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient being. What have we to worry about? Ah, so many things. But these “things” should not have to worry us. From experience, the more faith I have in the Lord, the more I see that plans and the future are really nothing. I can prepare as much as I want and have so many desires, yet…God’s plans are better, so much better.
There is another verse in Proverbs that targets planning. It’s no coincidence that this kind of topic is mentioned twice in one book. We always need reminders. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord established their steps” (NIV). The Lord is still the one to guide and determine and that should be enough comfort for us.