God's plan is alright

I pray for people to get better - I pray to pass a test. I pray when my perfectly organized event turns into a horribly confused mess.

I try so hard to make everything right - and when everything goes wrong I wonder where God left me. Or where I left God. When the week turns into a dismal dreary, drab, blah - and I end up with stomach cramps on a Saturday that had so much potential (leaving me crippled all day...), or when the bible study lesson seems doomed to turn into a bible stuttering session...I go down.

I'd love to serve and be joyful - but I can't right now because I'm not the right person. My theology is baby-like, I've been depressed, my prayer-life is puny...my children's church lesson mostly ended up in an all-out Jenga tournament between the surprisingly small group of four kids that actually came down...

I like things to go right.

Wake up early - that's right.
Get a C at the least on math - that's right.
Get school done by three - that's right.
Have bible lessons done at least the day before - that's imperative.
Finish chores like a dutiful daughter - that's right.
Have a group of listening, quiet kids answering questions in children's church and not telling me about penguins - that's right
Play flawlessly for the violin teacher - that prevents feeling like an prehistoric piano accompanist
Have my eyes unsore for a day - that's right...and nice.
All my family is healthy and alive - that's as it should be
Have a stronger walk with God - that's right...and guiltless
Know what I'm doing with my life after high school - that's comforting
Get a night's sleep without worrying - that's...helpful and resting

But I think I'm missing it.
The god of comfort-and-having-everything-go-according-to-plan is the one I like set on the throne of my heart. And when things dare go out of my visual scope - let pandemonium rule.

I spent last Friday sitting through Spanish class, trying to write on a white-board with a cast (embarrassing!), cram school with enough time to rush away to ballet, and finish a perfect bible study lesson in three hours. I was upset. I didn't have enough time. I didn't know what to teach about. The topic I picked just wasn't getting anywhere. My eyes hurt. We ran out of mocha mix.

Realizing that this was a bible study I was worrying about - the right thing is to go and pray about it of course! So I prayed. I prayed that God would give me the right words these girls needed to hear. I prayed that I'd be able to captivate their attention. I prayed that I'd learn this lesson to. And in the back, I desperately prayed that I would not be a fool teaching a lesson that had all the girls yawning in boredom.

As I prayed, it hit me.

I was doing it all wrong.

Sure, it's right that the girls would learn from it.
It's right that they would be interested
It's right and even good that they would be convicted by the lesson
It's right that I would be able to teach clearly and truthfully

But I realized, even if they all fell asleep, or I stuttered through a whole paragraph, or if my laptop broke and erased all my notes...I wasn't necessarily doing it for them. No matter what happened - I was doing this for God's glory. Even if I won Worst-Bible-Study-Leader of the year award.

Maybe my children's church lesson wasn't "spiritual" enough
Maybe my piano playing isn't spectacular
Maybe I'm not the most brilliant scholar
Or the most dutiful daughter
Maybe my eyes are going blind
Or I'll end up doing laundry at a nursing home instead of going to college
Maybe I'll be an old maid with my pet cactus, Josephus

That all sounds so wrong - it wasn't in my table of goodness.
 But I'm not living for happiness or everything to go right.
I live - for the glory of God.

And I can glorify Him
With F's in math
When I forgot to clean the kitchen sink
With the piano playing I can play
Or sitting around a gaggle of bored to death girls

God's plan is always right and it works. And that's alright.

Thanksgiving is a day we give thanks for what we're thankful for. But frankly, we give thanks in everything. Just because it's not on my thanksgiving tree does not mean it's wrong...in fact, the worst things, the worst situations, the most draining situations, the most depressing situations - those merit our thankfulness...because they change us and train us and strengthen us. And even if they don't, we can still glorify God.

1 comment

  1. This was a really good post. I think I needed to hear this. Thanks! And happy Thanksgiving. :)


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Maira Gall