For the last week I’ve been on vacation riding a motorcycle along the Pacific Coast Highway in California with my wife and some dear friends. (I had prepared a week’s worth of these meditations for you so I could unplug while I was gone).
Now, I’m back home safely with wonderful memories of sunny, coastal scenery and an experience of a lifetime—blessed by God in many ways.
One of the realities of riding a motorcycle is that you’re not plugged into any kind of GPS navigation that shows you on a screen or talks to you and directs you, like in a car. It requires detailed pre-planning to get where you want to go, and arrive safely.
“Honey, were we supposed to turn there?”
Yup. We got lost a few times. We needed to circle back. We parked in the wrong location. We missed a couple destinations. We got stuck in traffic that we could have avoided.
Now, my biker friends reading this are cringing because I used the word “lost.” We prefer to say we’re not really lost. We always know exactly where we are. And taking new, unscripted adventures is all part of the riding experience.
Even with wrong turns, traffic jams or temporarily traveling south instead of north, our plans for an enjoyable vacation were not ruined.
God has plans for you today. Do you know what they are? They aren’t navigation as much as they are vacation.
God has not scripted from eternity that you should take a right or left, park here or pass there. Don’t get too caught up on the detailed guidance pieces. And be careful of saying that God planned for you to run over a box in your driveway, delivered by UPS. Or planned for you to eat oatmeal for breakfast. Or planned that you would get that email.
These navigational pieces of each day are much more connected to situational decisions by you or others. So then, what exactly are God’s plans? Right here:
“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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
Not much in there about navigational details. Rather, there’s much about an intimate, enjoyable experience of a life connected and close to God. “I … you … me … you.”
Oh, don’t worry, God pays attention to every detail, every turn, every missed moment, every exhilarating discovery. “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). But God wants you to decide whether you part your hair on the right or left, whether you grow it short or long, and even finds you attractive if you’re losing your hair or it’s messed up from wearing a motorcycle helmet.
God’s plan is for you—whatever turns you take, wherever you park, however you travel—to seek him. Call on him. Travel with him as your companion. Find his blessing by faith. Know that his grace and mercy are unconditional in your life. Believe in Jesus.
You can’t get lost when, in faith, you follow God’s plan to never lose you. Enjoy the freedom of that experience!
PRAYER: Dear God, oh, the plans you have for me and you! I’m so important to you. With wonderful grace you work everything out so that I’m never lost, even if I don’t always know the way. Teach me to trust you and live more joyfully—and adventurously, too. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Jeremiah 29:10-14. These verses provide the context around God’s description of his plans for believers. God can, indeed, plan for specific, navigational pieces like he does in verses 10 and 14. This was much more common before the Bible was written, becoming the ultimate guidance from God for us.
What remains true about God’s plans—whether for exiles of Israel or today’s Christians—is the promise revealed in verses 11-13. This is the timeless truth from God for all who trust in him. Look at it this way: God uses the specific details like he gave in verses 10 and 14 to serve the wider, greater plan which is the promise of verses 11 through 13.
Pray about this as you consider how it changes your understanding of God’s plans for your week, and your life.