"'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.'" -Jeremiah 29:11
I've had this verse on a plaque that I received from a good friend about 9 years ago. I keep it in my office on my desk. I usually find a lot of comfort in it.
It seems that I've spent most of my adult life trying to figure out these plans God has for me. Whatever I’m doing, after a time I start to ask questions. The problem is pretty much summed up by The Clash: "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" The dilemma dips into that whole philosophical question regarding providence and freewill: "Is life like a line already drawn, or is the line yet to be drawn?"
My take is that the line is yet to be drawn, but that God, seeing the big picture, already knows what it looks like, and knows how to get you from point A to point B, if you are willing to trust in Him. On the other hand, I also believe in pursuing your dreams and taking steps toward your life's goals. On the third hand (if that were possible), a verse from Esther often haunts me: "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14). Sometimes you're where you're at for a reason.
I feel like the captain of a boat in the midst of a vast expanse of ocean. Using a compass, I make slight adjustments here, and slight adjustments there as I try to move in the right direction. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going, but I have a general idea. It just seems like it would be so much easier to know what the land ahead is going to look like before I got there! It sure is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day concerns of ship maintenance and deck swabbing and leading the crew. When storms come, I wonder if I'll ever make it at all.
I pray. I pray for answers, for guidance, for patience, for wisdom- not just for myself, but for all the people I come into contact with each day, struggling with relationships, health issues, employment (or lack thereof), and tough decisions. I want to provide answers, to fix things, to make it right. Only God can do that. He has plans to give us hope and a future. So be it.