Over the past several weeks God has blindsided me with blessings. What strikes me, though, is not the blessings themselves. What is remarkable is that these blessings came in spite of my planning and not because of it.
I have been obsessing about writing a “life plan” for this year. I wanted to have goals, objectives, strategies, timelines, and rewards indelibly imprinted in written form by January 1, 2013. But, as usual, I’ve done more thinking than doing and my plan still isn’t ready.
So with each passing day I grow more anxious. Every hour I don’t spend composing this master blueprint for my life seems wasted. Every blog article I read about how to make a plan that will make this year my best year ever becomes an indictment.
But there’s a spiritual source of all this nervousness. In my heart I had set my hopes for happiness on my goals and not on God.
As I make plans for 2013, I must remember grace. Good things that happen to me this year will not come about primarily because of my great planning or goal-setting. Blessings will come to me because of God’s grace.
Grace does not remove the responsibility of preparing and living intentionally. The Bible clearly teaches that wisdom involves planning for the future. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Pr. 21:5). I am not at all saying that we should wait for God’s blessings to pour down from Heaven while we sit back and do nothing. One of God’s blessings is the ability to consider to the future and get ready for it. We all must still write our resolutions for this new year.
But grace does free us from the pressure of guaranteeing our own results. We make plans, we set goals, we push ourselves to achieve more than we did last year. But we do it all with the security of knowing that “God gives the growth” (1 Cor. 3:7). God alone is the source of our blessings. For “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (Js. 1:17)
Therefore we make our plans, but remember God’s grace. His blessings will come. He may choose to use our plans as instruments to bring those blessings or He may not. All that is certain is we serve a gracious God who gives good gifts simply because He is good. May God keep us from the idolatry of trusting in our plans rather than trusting in our Provider.
Question: Does reflecting on God’s grace (undeserved blessings) bring you a sense of relief?