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

  • Jennifer S

    just what I needed. It is a good reminder to my pride and my feelings of hopelessness – I am HIS. None of this is MINE. He is my all in all.

    Hard to live out sometimes in the struggling moments of my life – but knowing it and remembering it is a step in the right direction.

    Thank you.

  • Emily C

    This is a wonderful reminder…oh, have I got plans, but I know God’s plans are bigger and better. Thanks, dear Abby!

  • Ashley

    What a great post. I have been saved since I was very young…and as a child up until young adulthood I believed with the innocence of a child in all of what was written in the Bible. However a few years ago I felt that God had left me….no longer had the Holy Spirit holding my hand guiding me. I know that my pride is totally getting in my way of growing in my walk….such as….your statement “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”…I struggle with this. God made me a HUMAN…he made me, I didn’t ask to be made, I don’t TRY to sin. I appreciate that Christ died on the cross for my sins, but I am tired of being beaten over the head with…”you deserve Hell”…just for being born {into sin}. Believe me…I agree with the statement, but I am struggling with it right now in my walk. Thank you for such a great post.

  • Lis

    Great post!

    You hit me in the gut when you wrote about feeling you deserved the results of all your hard planning.

  • Beth Williams

    What a great post!!!

    It is ok to plan, but with God’s timing in mind! We must strive daily to be Christian women loving God on His terms not ours!

  • Living the Balanced Life

    Yes, I love to plan. And I love for my plans to go my way. But many times His way is much better. And you are so right, we are SO blessed! Thanks for the post today!
    In pursuit of happiness, or joy?

  • Janet

    A good reminder and a point that has been driven home mightily in my life. His plans not mine.

  • Amy

    AMEN! Planning can be a reflection of our pride…that we know what’s best for us and that we can do what we think we can do, without realizing our limitations or making room for growth. When we plan according to what He tells us, how He leads us, what He speaks to our hearts, and what He’s shown us, we’re better off…and we’re that much closer to Him.

    • abby stewart

      Thank you all for your comments!!! :-) I definitely think that planning is a huge part of stewardship – and it’s important for me determine where it all intersects so that I do not leave Christ out.

      Ashley – we are very blessed to have known Christ our whole lives. I think that a life without Him has saved us from a lot of heartaches and wrong decisions – but a lack of a huge, spotty past can also make me very prideful.

  • Kate

    This is good. Especially for me.

    I really like for my plans to prevail. Like you said, I feel like I deserve it. How prideful is that?

    I needed this.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    – Kate :)

  • Susanne

    Amen to this! I should show this blog to my brother.