Day 24: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Prov 16:9)
This verse was also one I came across as I read my One Year Bible. It was at a time that I was really struggling to come to terms with my current job and future career path. I had fallen into nannying after all my directionless years as a substitute teacher. I had taken what I thought would be a summer nanny job but found out I really liked it so I continued in that line of work (and ended up working for that particular family for eight years!).
But I always told myself that the nanny work was just temporary until I got back into teaching in some capacity. In my own mind, nannying wasn’t as respected a career path as teaching. Yet, I truly loved my job and really looked forward to going to work most days. This should have told me something right there!
I knew in my heart I didn’t want to go back into teaching and that the only other area I was really passionate about was writing. I had rediscovered my love of creative writing after participating in Nanowrimo a few years back and was currently enjoying writing devotionals as a leader for Bethany Wilderness Ministry. So God was giving me a job I loved and a passion through my writing which I was just starting to develop.
And yet I resisted His career plans for me for quite a while, thinking I needed a more “respectable” career. However, I slowly began to let go of other’s expectations of me, or at least those expectations I perceived they had for me. I knew in my heart that I was more satisfied and content in life than I had ever been before. This realization helped me to finally accept the life God had given me and to see His hand in it all. I don’t know if I can fully explain the impact this decision made on my life but it felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders as I stopped striving and simply gave in to God’s plans.
Even now, in other areas of my life I struggle to accept, Proverbs 16:9 pop into my head. I can look back and see so many times where I had made plans but God had a better, though not always easier, one! This reminds me of a poem I came across not too long ago:
Life is but a Weaving (The Tapestry Poem)
By: Corrie ten Boom
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.
I love the last stanza of the poem – “He knows, He loves, He cares; Nothing this truth can dim. He gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him.” If only I can live out my life in such as way as to make this truth come alive in it. To understand that all my best laid plans are nothing compared to the ways God desires to work in and through me instead. May I remember to “leave the choice to Him” as the tapestry of my life goes on.
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Prov 16:9)