Thursday, July 17, 2008

Only Plan A

If you have not been reading the blog Bring the Rain, you should be (and you can start reading the story here). I have sat with tears streaming down my face and marveled at the grace and honesty with which Angie Smith writes. It's gut-wrenching, but it is beautiful.

Even though I have followed her blog for several months now, having been invited into God's story in and through the Smith family via Angie's writing, only this week did I follow a link she posted quite awhile ago. It was to a video a Nashville-area pastor made documenting the Smiths' trust and understanding of God's will through the loss of their daughter, Audrey Caroline. In this video, Angie made a profound statement, "There is no plan B."

When we feel like the road has twisted or turned into a dead-end or the bridge has been washed out that would keep us on the path to our dreams, we seem to think we have to switch to a "Plan B." But God has no Plan B. Isn't that amazing? That is hard for me to swallow and yet freeing at the same time... I believe in a sovereign God who knows what will happen, numbers our days, and will work all things for His glory and our good. But oh how that can cause us (or me, at least) to wrestle.... so when a job is lost, that was plan A all along.... when a couple struggles with infertility, that was plan A all along... when a dream is dashed, that was plan A all along. How can that be??

Knowing that was the plan all along makes me want to ask, "WHY??" as if my human understanding is somehow more insightful or greater than God's. That's a humbling realization... funny, Becca, to think you know better than God. Right. But it doesn't take away the hurt or confusion of the lost dream.

Here's where I have found myself wresting and then resting in knowing that God knows and Who God is. He sees, He hears, He knew this was coming. He has not lost control. God is still God. And in the beautiful words of Isaiah 61:1-3, "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, He has sent me to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."

As I recently read in an excerpt from Beth Moore's Breaking Free, that "doesn't mean we'll never mourn or feel despair. But Christ will minister His gladness to us once again. He will give us a heart of praise if we let Him [emphasis mine]; then one day all mourning and despair will be behind us."

When I finally quit fighting God's Plan A, when I stop furiously searching for a "better alternative," or a shortcut back to what I expected to happen, when I am still before Him and stay my heart in His wisdom and comfort, then my wrestling can turn to resting. And resting in Him is like no other resting I've ever known. The scars may still be there from me putting up a fight, but our God heals, our God restores, and our God never lost control. He never had to change His trajectory. He never had to change plans. Nothing pushes or sways Him from His path. You can trust Him. It's provoking and yet peaceful at the same time. There is no Plan B. God has only Plan A.