What would happen if you only saw one piece of this picture? If it were the top right it would be clouds, if it were the bottom left, it would be blackness. The majesty of the sunset and the picture of the cross in the flagpole would be lost.
Sometimes in our day to day, we are only able to see bits and pieces of the bigger picture.
We live on the Eastern Seaboard in Canada and some days when I step out on our deck it is so blistering hot that all I can imagine doing is heading to the beach. Only fifteen minutes away, the air is so thick with fog that it is freezing cold and surfing is the last thing in the world I would do. In either place, my perspective is limited to what I can see.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Today I was talking with a friend about her son going away to camp and mine to university. Both of us expressed pain and some grief over the loss of contact with our boys. We were seeing the hurt and loss in the situation. Our sons, on the other hand, were seeing in the experiences, the realization of their goals. Her son wants to be a pilot and by going to camp he will be able to earn his pilot’s license for free! My son wants to be a Naval Engineer. By going away to university, he is receiving a full scholarship, salary, pension, benefits and a guaranteed career when he graduates.
Does that make it easier for him to be gone? No. No excuses, no justifications. It is hard. And sometimes, life is hard. The thing is, God already knows that. And, just like our sons are able to see the bigger picture in being away from us, God sees the bigger picture in the broad spectrum of our lives. God knows why money is tight. God knows why my mom has cancer. God knows why I burnout.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
These challenges in my life are there for very specific purposes. I can choose to look to God, trusting Him to help me through them, believing He knows the bigger picture OR I can struggle through them not understanding and not growing. How I react to the little things will, in part, determine how God presents me with the big things.
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.
God sees the bigger picture. He already knows the choices I will make and the challenges I will face. Allowing Him to guide my steps allows me to remain in the center of His will and ultimately that will always be the best place for me.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.