February 9, 2011
The Person Behind the Plan
Katherine Britton, Crosswalk.com News & Culture Editor
"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me!" - Psalm 139:1
Consider the last conference you attended. Or just remember back to your days at summer camp. If the event coordinator had any talent at all, you probably didn't spare a thought about this person's help in planning your activities. You bustled through your day and merely assumed that the schedule was planned so that you could reach each seminar, speaker, meeting, or perhaps the next camp activity in time. You assumed logistics would be properly worked out. Especially if you're remembering your camp experiences, you probably didn't stop to ponder the "big picture" of your week at the lake, the archery course and the rock climbing walls. You placed inherent faith in the plan, and perhaps gave event coordinators the obligatory applause at the end of the scheduled activities.
The knowledge that "God has a plan" provides me with great peace of mind and heart. Too often, however, I go through my little life with an automatic faith, giving God the obligatory kudos as the grand events coordinator and little else. In other words, I'm most prone to remember him when my "schedule" clashes with my agenda.
How often do you consider the person behind the planning? His personality? His motivation behind the scheduling and planning? The interpersonal relationship between you and him?
The miracle of the Gospel is almost a paradox: God so loved the whole world that he would have died for only one sinner. To say it another way, God's grand plan for the universe complemented an intimate desire to know each of his people. Consider the way the psalmist talks to God in Psalm 139, as he remembers the Lord's plan for his life from the moment of conception. He stands amazed that this God of the universe will be with him wherever he goes. He sees God's grace not only in the Lord's plan for him, but also the Lord's relationship with him. In doing so, the psalmist discovers the mercy of God's care for him, and finds that the Master Planner also accounts for the smallest of our needs. A humbling juxtaposition, isn't it?
My daily challenge is to follow God's plan, yes, but it's so much greater than that. My daily calling is to better know this God who makes the stars spin while caring for the sparrow. When that happens, we can appreciate his plan all the more because we know the person behind it. Let's not cobble together the obligatory applause, but give him the heartfelt praise he deserves.
Intersection of Faith & Life: My mother often told me, "When you can't see God's plan, trust his heart." And how can we trust a person we don't know well? When push comes to shove, the authentic Christian life will be defined not by trust in a nebulous master plan, but by knowing the God who orchestrates all things for his glory and our good.