TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. (Habakkuk 1:5 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• What is it about a well-organized to-do list that just makes my heart happy?? I’m a life-long list maker, and since I also have a penchant for gadgetry, any program that promises to make list organization more manageable has my attention. Over the years, I’ve tried a number of list-making tools, including a new one that I started this week. So far, I like it. We’ll see how I feel about it in a month.
All that said — I like order. I like control. I like seeing what’s ahead and what my step-by-step action plan is. However, life isn’t like that. If we didn’t know it before, 2020 has certainly taught us the truth of James 4:13-15, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— 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. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”
We can plan and strategize and come up with our step-by-step to-do’s, and it all works on paper. But paper and reality are two different things. And often, it boils down to my pitiful to-do list versus God’s to-do list for me. My list may as well be written on the back of a torn, coffee-stained envelope and shoved between the car seats compared to God’s far more detailed and elaborate to-do list that is perfectly organized and probably color-coded too.
The problem for someone like me (who doesn’t like the unknown or surprises — unless it’s Ben & Jerry’s) — God doesn’t always tell us what is next on the list until the last minute. Well, correction. At the right minute. We feel like it’s last minute, when really – God is never late. He presents His next steps at exactly the right moment and never a minute before and definitely, never a minute late.
I’m sure you’ve seen the sermon clip of Billy Graham talking about Habakkuk. It went viral around the time of the shut down for COVID-19. The sermon is based on Habakkuk 1. The first five verses of the chapter are Habakkuk’s complaint — he wants to know what God is doing! I SOOOO relate to Habakkuk’s plea. I think right now — all of us do! None of us like this season of uncertainty and the frustration of not knowing how long it’s going to last. And may God bless all the parents out there who have to deal with this school nightmare! I don’t envy you!
Wouldn’t we just love for God to show us His to-do list so we can see what’s going on? But Billy Graham’s message is centered around God’s response in verse 5, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” You’d think that answer would have been the end of things with trying to push God, but no. In verse 12, Habakkuk started another series of complaints.
How like him we are! We question God. We pray. We hear His answers through His words and the guidance of godly friends. Just like Habakkuk, we all want to know. But God is God. He doesn’t owe us answers. He doesn’t have to explain Himself or justify Himself to us. While we are all anxious for this season to be behind us, God is still in control. He hasn’t lost His to-do list, and He knows step-by-step what is happening and what will happen. If we trust God, then we have to trust that is enough.
The whole thing can be summed up with Proverbs 19:21, which says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
And with that, we sigh. We pray. We surrender. We remind ourselves of the truth and wisdom from Billy Graham’s sermon — “If God today told us what He’s doing in the world, we wouldn’t believe it. Don’t you think God’s given up, and God’s abdicated, and God’s left the throne. He hasn’t. He’s still on the throne. And those of us that know Him put our trust in Him and Him alone. I don’t put my trust in Washington. I don’t put my trust in the United Nations. I don’t put my trust in myself. I don’t put trust in my money. I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. When all the rest of it fails and crumbles and shatters, He’ll be there.”
May we all embrace this lesson.
Today, as you pray, thank God that He does have His to-do list, and He’s not done. Thank Him for the wise words of Billy Graham that we can continue to learn from… Ask the Holy Spirit to help you trust in God’s plan, even when you are desperate to know what’s next. Ask Him to give you peace in the surrender of the unknown.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.
Oh! How I needed this! Thank you for your profound words – on top of God’s and Billy Graham’s, too.