As women we were born to plan. Sometimes it is the smaller things that we get to plan, like dinners and birthday parties. Sometimes we have the privilege to plan much bigger things, like career paths and plans for our family. The problem with my planning, however, is that oftentimes I feel like I deserve the result of what I planned. For example, I deserve a certain career path because I studied hard and received the degrees necessary. My husband and I deserve a fun vacation because of hard work. I deserve to live a long, healthy life because of good eating habits and daily exercise.
The folly with my logic is that I do not deserve any of it. Because of my sin I actually deserve death but because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice I have an eternal inheritance. Every moment of every day is a gift from God, and it is His to do with as He pleases. Though I certainly agree that it is important to enjoy the portion that God has assigned me, ultimately all that I have and all that I am is from God. None of it is a result of any of my good intentions or doings.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. James 4:14-16
In this passage James addresses the wealthy living in the Roman Empire. The merchants were seeking wealth in their business transactions and trying to control their prosperous future, thus leaving God out of their equation for success. James even describes the Jews a mist to emphasize their temporal nature and that they are just particles in the air.
While our degrees of wealth differ within our region, if we are reading this in our native language then we are some of the wealthiest people in the world. As Christian women it is important to remember that while we have triumphs and successes in this life, each of them is gift from God and not a result of our own planning and intellect. Our life is but a mist and ultimately it will not matter what kind of car we drove, where we vacationed, or where our children went to school. The only thing that eternally matters is Christ, and our lives are but a mere instrument for Him to use.
By Abby Stewart, The Stewarts