Let me ask you something: what if every single thing that happened to you today was by God's perfect design? Would it change the way that you think about your day?
Too often, we get settled into our own plans, our own paths, and we know just how we want our lives to go. We know how our days ought to move, what ought to happen next and how quickly it should come on the tails of whatever's happening now. We're easily frustrated by things that change, by the unexpected, by the uncontrollable.
But what if those things were the very things that God was doing in your life today?
What if just one of them was?
The Scriptures tells us that God has His hand on us, that He never takes it off. The Scriptures tell us that we may make our plans, but it is God who directs our paths. The Scriptures tell us that God is present, though we often relegate Him to either "in the beginning" or "forever and ever amen" and forget that He is right here with us, right now.
Knowing that God is present, that God is near, really takes a lot of stress out of your life. More than that, it allows you to live in holy anticipation, with eyes wide open to what God is doing.
Take something common - you're sitting in traffic after a long day at work. There's an accident up ahead, and it's a terrible inconvenience for you. You're kicking yourself for having stopped to chat in the parking lot for those couple of minutes. But what if those couple of minutes are the ones that kept you from being caught up in the wreck? What if the wreck is the delay that you need to hear a certain song on the radio before you park it for the night? What if your kid has had a bad day and those few extra minutes that you're late are the few minutes that let him breathe the last bit of it out and shift his perspective before you catch the raw end of it?
Take something bigger. Let's say you rearrange your day for an appointment. You've been planning on this for awhile; it's been on the calendar for a reasonable amount of time. Everything is ready for this appointment. But just before you're set to leave, the phone rings and the other party needs to reschedule. How inconsiderate! How frustrating! But what if God needs you to be in the place you're going on the day that He's rescheduled you to be there? What if He's setting you up for an incredible encounter, perhaps even one that's not at all about you...but about Him? What if going on Friday instead of on Tuesday puts you in contact with someone who needs your witness? Or what if not going today keeps you safe from something that might rock your ship?
The truth is that we are creatures, and we are limited by the finiteness of our being. We can only know what we know, and we can never know what we can't possibly know. That's where faith comes in. What if we lived our lives trusting that God was present and active in them, directing our steps just as the Scriptures say? What if God is doing something right now that you could never even imagine and certainly never plan for yourself?
What if you lived every moment looking for that very thing, not just keeping your eyes open to see it when it comes but actively expecting it to happen? Actively expecting God to be up to something?
God is always up to something.
I think sometimes we just miss it because we're never expecting it. We're too busy buried in our own lives to lift our heads up for just a second and turn our perspective around. We're a people of faith, but we don't live by it; we don't live believing that God is present and active and up to something, right now, in our lives.
But what if we did?