I have recently developed a new theory about God and our plans versus his plans. Here it is:
You know those puzzle balls you get out of the quarter machines at the grocery store?
These were a total treat when I was growing up. I would put mine together, take it apart, put it together, take it apart. Holding it very, very carefully in the palm of my left hand I would make sure everything fit juuuust right before securing the next piece into place. Ultimately I would solve the puzzle, only to take it apart again a few hours later and re-solve it. At some point I would set it aside, satisfied with how many times I solved the puzzle, deciding, “Well, that’s done.”
Our life plans are like these puzzle balls. We carry them so carefully, so close to us, trying to fit them exactly into place. We get it together then take it apart, get it together and take it apart, and repeat. Until we’re finally satisfied. Then, we hand this puzzle ball to God. We say, “Look! Here are my plans. I solved it! Aren’t you proud? I got all the pieces juuuust right.”
He says, “Yes! Good job.” Then takes a baseball bat, uses your Plan Puzzle Ball as his personal baseball, and hits a homerun with it, smashing the puzzle to smithereens but also scoring the homerun.
A couple pieces to this theory:
1. We believe we have it all under control and can hand God our plans without thinking He’ll mess with them.
2. He uses our plan as He sees fit – a reminder that if we’ve given Him our heart, that means He also has first dibs on our “plans”.
3. He hits a homerun with our Plan Puzzle Ball. The decisions He makes on our behalf, the life He ultimately gives us when we trust Him, is far better, far richer, than anything we could have created for ourselves. Over-said and semi-cheesy? Maybe. But it’s true (Ephesians 3:20).
4. We see our “smashed” plans as being completely screwed up and all out of whack, broken even. And we focus on that instead of the homerun.
This is just my humble little opinion. And I know I’m not alone in watching my own life get set up for something I believe is right and wonderful and perfect, only to be knocked down and kicked around before God brings about the saving grace. But I truly believe that trusting Him and releasing our stress and anxiety to Him is the absolute best way to move through the good and not-so-good days.