Big Plans and Little Steps
Friday - October 16th
Scripture to Read Today: Proverbs 16:1-33
In their hearts,
humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes
I recently read a great article by my friend, Joni Eareckson Tada. She tackled God's sovereignty in the details of her diving accident in 1967, resulting in her becoming a person with quadriplegia. Joni wrestled with God's role in her accident. In the article titled, "Paralysis Was His Good Plan," She raised critical questions:
"I kept pushing the replay button on my dive off the raft, trying to imagine what was happening in the heavenlies. Did God take a hands-off approach and allow me to do something stupid of my own free will? Or did Satan go before God with the playbook he used with Job, asking for permission to shove me off the raft? Was God reluctant? Did the devil then twist his arm until God cried uncle? Or maybe God himself pushed me off the raft as he held back protecting angels."
As she answers these questions from a biblical perspective, she pointed to a specific verse in the chapter of Proverbs we focus on today in this devotional. "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps" (Proverbs 16:9). Joni describes how she planned to go swimming in that Maryland lake with her friends and her sister. They planned their day, and Joni chose to jump off the platform, not knowing that a sandbar with which she and her friends were familiar had moved under the water in recent weeks. When she hit that sandbar and broke vertebrae in her back, it was not a part of her plans. Still, God in His sovereignty planned to use that last step Joni would ever take for the good of others and His glory.
In the article, Joni acknowledges the mystery at the point where human plans intersect with God's sovereignty that plans out each step we take. She does, however, trust God with that mystery. Back in the late 1960s she could not see how much God would use her and her story to spread the Gospel worldwide. There was no way humanly for Joni to foresee how God would use her life to bring authentic hope to others affected by disability.
Proverbs 16:9 implies we can, and should, make our big plans. It also suggests that as we move forward to complete those plans, God directs each step of our lives. We need to see His hand in the good, the bad, and the ugly circumstances of our lives. He wants to use every circumstance of our lives for our good, the good of others, and ultimately His glory.
God sovereignly uses the worst of our circumstances to shape our testimony for Him. We can trust His directing of our steps!