Blog Friday

I recently oversaw a school assignment with a certain independent child in this house, and here’s pretty much how it went down:

Me: “Hey, I’m pretty sure the instructions said to underline the words in those sentences instead of circling them.”

Child:  No they didn’t.

“Um, yep… they did. If you read the instructions at the top of the page, you’ll find that it says to underline.”

But I’d rather circle them.

“I know you would, but we need to do it the right way. Trust me, it’s always a good idea to follow the instructions.”

But I already circled them.

“I know, babe. You’re going to have to erase the circles, start over, and underline the words like the instructions say.”

But that’s a lot of work. Can’t I just do it my way?

{Insert a conversation on how it might not seem like a big deal to follow instructions in this particular situation, but that there will be times when doing it the right way is the crucial step that can make or break a process…}

As we continued on with the assignment, this child later turned the page to find an additional set of instructions that said to circle a different word category, differentiating the circled words from the underlined words. Ahhhh… I love it when a training opportunity comes together. Heh. As much as we long to do things our own way, we often turn the page to find that there’s a reason for the process beyond what we can initially see.

And like so many parenting situations I find myself in, this fight for independence reminds me of the way I often respond to the guidance of my Heavenly Father.

God’s instructions have been given to me, clearly laid out in His Word. I know that I should read them before proceeding with my daily “assignments,” but I’m pretty sure I’ve got this. I mean, I’ve seen assignments like this before and I feel fairly confident in my own way of doing things. My way’s not really that far off so what could it hurt, right? Plus, who has time to start this process all over again anyway? I’d rather just continue on my own path and push my way through so I can move on to the next assignment with as little work required from me as possible.

But you and I both know that disregarding God’s instructions and going our own way will never produce the satisfaction our hearts long for. 

Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he. The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? Ecclesiastes 6:10-11

No matter how planned out or good-intentioned, my plans can never trump God’s.

Simply put, He is God and I am not.

My wisdom comes to an end, but His instructions are perfect. (Psalm 19:7)

My insight is incomplete, but His plans are already written. (Psalm 139:16)

My direction is unsure, but His ways are higher. (Isaiah 55:9)

My path is limited, but His purposes are unstoppable. (Job 42:2)

I am man, and I cannot contend with this mighty God who knows far better than me. And as much as I long to do things my own way, I often turn the page of life to find that there’s a reason for His plans beyond what I can initially see.

So once again, Lord, I lay my independence down at Your feet. I surrender my way of doing things – holding nothing back – and submit to Your will and Your way, for it’s there that I find rest in Your sovereign embrace.

“God’s got you

just like He had you last time

and the time before that

and that other time

and that time after and before that.”

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4

You are God and I am not. I may not be in control, but I can trust the One who is…

At His feet,

*Let’s Talk: If you’re committing to surrendering your ways and submitting to God’s ways in a certain area of your life today, simply type “I surrender” in the comments below. Our team would love to pray for you…

Did you miss Wednesday’s post? View it here!

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