“You control your own destiny!”
“No one deserves a good life more than you.”
“You decide where you’ll end up!”
Our culture is all about taking control of your life . . . deciding your own destiny . . . going where you want to go . . . doing what you want to do.
Goals and plans are a good thing because they give us direction. But, here’s the problem: we really don’t know what tomorrow holds. We can plan. We can prepare. And then it can all change in a split-second.
Listen to James 4:14, “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.”
The reality that everything might change tomorrow could easily freak me out. (If it freaks you out a little too, let me know in the comments!) But here’s what calms my heart: I have confidence that there’s a Storyteller working through my life to tell a story greater and larger than I could ever imagine. That great Storyteller is working in your life as well.
This month, Nancy Wolgemuth and her husband Robert released a book called You Can Trust God To Write Your Story. When I think through characters in the Bible who trusted God to write their story, the one amazing woman who keeps coming to mind is Esther.
If you read through her story in the book of Esther, you’ll discover that she had the opportunity to save her people, the Jews, from literal extinction. God had placed her in a position of authority and power. But here’s the deal, if Esther went into the King’s presence without being asked for, he had the right to have her killed. KILLED! (There are soooooo many issues with being able to kill your Queen if she came to you without permission, but that’s another blog post.)
When her uncle asked Esther to go and ask the King to protect her people, Esther had this reply:
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” (Est. 4:16, emphasis added)
Esther had no guarantee that she would live to see the next day. If the King was in a bad mood, or wasn’t feeling well, or had burned his tongue on his coffee that morning, he could quickly and easily have Esther killed. (I don’t know if they had coffee back then, so the burned tongue is a stretch.)
All she could do was trust. Trust that God was going to use her in some way, even if she was killed. She had to trust that there was a greater story being told through her than she could understand.
No matter what happens to us, are we trusting that God will use our lives to tell a powerful story? Here’s a secret (that you can tell your friends): holding our plans and desires with open hands will make it easier to let go when God says, “This is the plan I have for you, not what you were expecting.” It’s when we try to force our plans and desires, hanging onto them tightly, that life gets sticky.
How tightly are you holding onto your plans and desires? If God called you to do something else, study something else, marry someone else . . . would you be able to go willingly? Do you trust that His story for you is better than the story you’re expecting?
Are you willing to trust God to write your story?
Sound off in the comments about how you’ve seen God work differently than you expected!
PS: We will choose three of you in the comments to win You Can Trust God to Write Your Story and three of you to win a copy of our latest Bible study, Esther: Trusting God’s Plan.