We are in the middle of crazy times. So here’s my GIFT to you. My only request is that you, in turn, pass on your encouragement and hope to others. Now, scroll down and listen or read.

Just ten minutes can transform your day, giving you practical wisdom, hope and courage.

If you feel life is sometimes crazy, you are not alone. 

Over the last ten years, my family and I have moved continents, navigated horrendous health challenges, walked through tragic loss and survived natural disasters. His daily devotion of reading scripture to find God’s voice has been the one anchor of hope in the midst of constant change. 

Finding Hope in Crazy Times is a series of 30 daily devotionals adapted from my personal journal. In less than ten minutes, you can 

  • Read a quick real-life story, 
  • Hear what God says, 
  • Connect it to your own situation, and 
  • Apply a hope-filled action step to your day.

So, if you are ready to access practical wisdom, hope and courage for your day, then let’s get started!

Chapter 4 – Do I Make a Plan or Simply Trust God?

LISTEN:

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READ:

Before we came to live in California, I had a plan for my future. At least I thought I did. I had studied at university and then began a job with an agricultural consultancy company. I grew in competency at my job and was growing in my spiritual walk. I had plans for what my life was going to look like. When I started dating Janine, I asked her a million questions about where she wanted to be and what she was going to be doing in ten years’ time. She never had answers to my questions, but I thought I knew the answers, at least the broad details. We got married, and we moved forward together. I had a budget on a spreadsheet, an intentional plan for growth, and I knew what we were doing.

But God. In 2008, He ambushed all my plans and brought us to America.

We started from scratch again. We knew no one, we were no one, and we used up all our savings in three quick years. None of it made any natural sense. This didn’t seem like good planning on God’s part, and with such a big, unforeseen shift in direction, it made me wonder if it was even worth planning. Had I been doing it all wrong, having a plan? Was I just supposed to float along trusting God all this time?

A man’s heart plans his way,

But the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s steps are of the Lord;

How then can a man understand his own way?

Proverbs 20:24

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,

And He delights in his way.

Psalms 37:23

I now believe that we are both supposed to plan AND to trust God with where we are going. It’s not one or the other, it’s both. We make our plans in connection with God, but He determines and makes strong our steps. Even on my best day, I cannot control my future.

So why should I even bother planning if God can just come in and “wreck” my plan anyway?

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint.” Another version (KJV) says, “Where there is no vision (plan) the people perish.” So, having a plan or a clear vision helps us stay on track with our lives. Habakkuk 2:2 says to “write the vision and make it plain so those who read it may run with it.” Having a written plan means that you know where you are going. At any moment, God has the right to interrupt your plan and change your direction, but at least you are not just running all over the show looking for something to do. You know where you are going, you know why you are heading that way, at least until further notice.

When you have a plan, you are also more disciplined. Because we had a plan from when we were first married, we were able to take steps to own our home, debt-free by the time God told us to move to America. That released to us the finances to live for three years with zero income. If we had not had a plan, we would have spent our money on other things and never been in the financial position to do what was required. Our plan gave us discipline in our spending.

God lets us in on His plans a little at a time. Sometimes I think that’s because if He showed us all of what He planned, we would run screaming from the room in fear. We can handle just the next installment of His plan for our lives, with the grace that is currently available to us. Before we came to America, Janine had her hands full at home, raising our four small children under the age of six. It was a huge help to have her parents (aka babysitters) living in the same city as we were and my parents only a couple of hours away. Janine wasn’t ready to leave that all behind to go on a crazy adventure around the world. So, when God spoke to us to leave everything, He didn’t tell us it was forever. Janine identifies that as the kindness of God to her. It was easier for her to leave her family when she thought it was for nine months. Once we had lived here for that time, she was ready to hear the next step.

So, make your plans with Jesus, trusting Him along the way. Hold them lightly and be ready to respond when He changes the plans on the go. His plans were a huge upgrade on ours. It has not been easy, but it has been a wild ride and we don’t regret for a moment trading in our plans for His.

Prayer:

Jesus, thank You that You have a plan for my life

that is an upgrade on my own plans.

Thank You that I can trust my future to You

and that You will lead me and guide me.

Give me ears to hear the plans

that You have for me in this season.

Help me to partner well with You

in all that I know You have for me in this season.

Give me a vision so that I may have discipline

in my finances, time, and relationships.

Going deeper:

  • What are you hearing God say about getting a vision and plan for your life?
  • Where do you need to let go control of your plan and trust His plan for your future?
  • Where do you lack discipline that is potentially sabotaging your future? Talk to God about His vision for that area of your life. Now make a plan to move you towards God’s vision for you.
  • What is God’s plan for you in your current season of life?

Today’s Action:

Who can you share what you just learned with and ask them to hold you accountable to trust God AND have a plan?