Got plans in 2020? I do … did … um … maybe. A phone call from our youngest daughter on December 29 allowed us to formulate an orderly, totally in-control plan for when Grandma and Grandpa would come to help out with our two-year-old grandson when she was close to her due date in late January. My husband and I would arrive early enough to help with any last-minute preparations before the baby came and we’d be on hand to take care of our grandson whenever our daughter and son-in-law had to make a trip to the hospital. Sounds great right?
As you might have guessed, that’s not what happened at all. In fact, about eight hours after that conversation, we received another call at 3:40am. “My water broke,” was all I needed to hear. That baby was coming on a different timetable. Instead of leisurely packing and traveling over two days, we were slurping coffee and tossing assorted paraphernalia into our suitcases to make a direct shot to their home 500+ miles away. I have to say it was much more exciting than our staid plan of a few hours before. Kind of invigorating, even.
Our newest grandson made his entrance into the world a couple of hours after we pulled into their driveway and despite his early arrival, was delivered safe and healthy into his mother’s arms on December 30.
In the joyous arrival of this precious new life, there were some things that came to mind as I considered God’s sovereignty over our lives. His timing is always best, even when it seems early or late to us. He is in charge, which is a GOOD thing. He’s God. He also must have a sense of humor—I can imagine the Father chuckling as I spoke with my daughter that afternoon--can't you? I am thankful for the neighbor who came to stay in the middle of night while our daughter and son-in-law took off for the hospital. And thankful for the other Grandma who lives closer who made a similar exciting trip to care for our mutual grandson until we arrived and sorted out the situation. We were blessed with light traffic and good road conditions the whole way, making the trip much more enjoyable. God’s plan was way more dramatic than my original idea and it all came together perfectly.
As Christians, we must learn to hold our plans loosely, knowing that our loving Father may have entirely different and much better ones than we’ve composed, even as we prayerfully make them. James’ warning to believers popped into my head that day:
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’--yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’" James 4:13-15 ESV.
As we follow Jesus in 2020, may we find joy in God’s timing and changes to our journey, growing in our trust of the Heavenly Father.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7 ESV.