Lord, I praise you that I did not wake up alone this morning, for you were there, waiting for me, ready with the elements of this day, all carefully arranged, wisely laid out, lovingly prepared. Truly, “My times are in your hands…” (Ps. 31:15).
As human beings, we live in the river of history where events propel us through the day, the week, the year and beyond. The vast majority of these events are outside of our control, swirling in and out of our lives without our desire, beyond our power: wars, floods, famines, storms, political changes, economic shifts, accidents, illnesses and deaths.
These come and go in seemingly meaningless, random patterns, empowering some, snuffing out the lives of others, bringing and taking prosperity, uniting and separating families and strangers.
Even on a personal level I have only a certain amount of decision-making control, mostly in how to spend the time, money and energy given me. In the limited scope of my life, this seems to be quite a bit of power, but outside events can easily disrupt this control: an accident, sickness, loss of income, a fire, a storm, a fight ending a relationship Any one of these can come to me easily without my wanting or being able to prevent it.
To think of how powerless I am is disturbing: human beings do not like weakness, randomness and insecurity. However, when we become a child of God, born again into His family, there is a great shift in this scene. While the situation remains the same, there is one significant truth added that alters everything drastically: all those events and things that are out of my control are fully and securely in the hands of our loving and powerful Heavenly Father.
He who breathed the stars into existence, who hung the earth on nothing, who set it in exactly the right orbit around the sun, who spun it at the needed speed on a perfectly tilted axis, who formed the mountains and valleys, who spoke the animals into life–He is the One who holds our lives, our future in His hands.
He is not only in control, He has a specific, detailed plan, one that will not fail: “…the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” And no one can frustrate Him in it: “The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples” (Psalm 33:11,10). No matter how hard we may try, we cannot circumvent the overall plan God has prepared: “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD” (Pro. 21:30).
And what our Father has prepared for us is good: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (Jer. 29:11). He may lead us through many difficulties, as the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, but these are for our good, our maturity, our equipping, our bringing more glory to God.