I hadn’t planned on naming every post after a song, but God keeps bringing them to mind. We will see how long this trend lasts! 🙂 I have also always loved this song by Matthew West. The lyrics that stick out to me are:
If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when…
This is a lesson that God has been teaching me during our first week in France. As I sat in our beautiful Airbnb, I kept saying to myself that I would take this week to rest. I would relax and get acclimated, and then I would get started on whatever God had laid out for me to do. While rest is something we definitely need as humans, something about this plan did not sit well with me. I realized how easy it is to have this attitude in life. It is so easy to fall into the trap of saying things like: Once I graduate high school, my life will start. Once I grow up, God’s plan for me will start. Once I get past these two really hard, busy weeks, I can truly start to serve the Lord.
I have always been excited about God’s plan for my life, but I have generally looked at God’s plan as something far in the future. God is teaching me that his plan for my life is happening right now. It is happening today, in this very moment. I shouldn’t just look to him to know what to do for my career. I should look to him to know what to do daily. I would hate to look back on my life and realize I spent that whole time making plans or waiting around until I got older. Life is happening right now.
God used some very specific instances to solidify the importance of this truth. I was flipping through Facebook, and a quote popped up by Bob Goff. It said, “Quit waiting for a plan; go love everybody.” I am definitely a planner, so this quote bothered me at first. I thought to myself, “If I don’t prepare at all, things are definitely not going to go very well.” Upon further reflection, I realized that lots of things do require diligent preparation, but even during this time of preparation I can accomplish God’s plan for my life. There are some more general things that I can do right now to honor and glorify God because this is his ultimate plan for everyone. It is God’s plan for me to have a relationship with him through prayer and reading his word. It is God’s plan that I love people with the love that He has shown me through his son. It is God’s plan that I share the amazing story of Jesus whenever I am presented with the opportunity. It is God’s plan that I encourage others to grow in their faith.
As I thought about these ideas in France’s 70 degree weather, God also brought another quote to mind that I heard in the 100 degree weather of Dallas. When we were debriefing with the youth after our mission trip this summer, my mom explained she had had reservations about coming on this trip as an adult volunteer when we had so much to prepare for France. She then said, “I am never sorry I took time to do something for God’s glory.” I realized this applies to my life too. I won’t be sorry if I leave this Airbnb and go love people, but I might be sorry if I look back and realize I waited around.
Lastly, I was impacted by this idea when I looked at a devotional book that had been given to me as a senior gift from my youth leaders. It is written by Andy Blanks, and right on the cover it says in big bold letters NOW. Underneath, it describes “impacting your world for Christ, right now.” The first devotional talked about a passage that we are all familiar with, but I would like to share it with you here. It is Jeremiah 29:10-14.
10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
My devotional book taught me that Jeremiah’s words to the exiles contain some principles that are true for my life too. God loves us so much that he has a plan for each of us. These plans are for his glory, which means they are also what is best for us. In order to know these plans, we can pray and God will answer. He reveals his plan for our lives through his word.
I am so thankful God loves us, and wants to reveal his plan for us. I know his plan is not only the future, but something that happens right now. So, I decided that I had done enough sitting around and it was time for me to “do something.” I simply went out and loved people, and I pray I continue to do so, like God instructs me in his word. Doing this, working to accomplish God’s plan, did not only bring him glory. It brought me ultimate joy and peace. Thank you, Lord, for teaching me that I am never sorry when I take the time to “do something,” because your plan is happening right NOW.