6:00- the alarm goes off.
6:30- meet Jordan to run off the extra cookies I ate last night.
7:00- head home to get ready for school.
8:30- leave for class
9:00- listen to a lecture on social sciences.
10:00- second class of the day; learn how to sustain the environment.
11:00- stop by my office.
12:00- head home.
8:00- finish up any loose ends.
11:00- fall into bed.
6:00- do it all over again.
Schedules, schedules, schedules. We all have our planners, blackberries, and Microsoft outlooks that itemize our agendas for the day and don’t really leave any “white space” in our lives. The schedule above reigns pretty true in my own life. I get so caught up in my scripted world that is filled to the max with workouts, school, work, friends, projects, and appointments; but, have you ever noticed that God works in pretty unscripted ways? Let’s look at this past week in my own life. I’m in the middle of school and working on final projects, running errands, and trying to squeeze in a work out when I realize that I have an orthodontist appointment. At my appointment, in preparation for surgery they placed four spacers in-between my molars. If you have ever had orthodontic work then you know just how painful spacers really are! I was in so much pain and had to head to CFCC for class! On the way to school, I was talking with a friend and we decided to meet at Starbucks since we were both running a little early. We each bought a drink and talked for a little bit…..totally unplanned, but probably the highlight of my day (especially after the spacers!). On Wednesday, my sister asked me to go to lunch at our favorite BBQ restaurant. I hadn’t planned for this while I was mapping out my week, but it made my day just spending time with KT and getting to hang out with her. The same thing happened today! After class some friends wanted me to go to this cute, little Mexican restaurant with them….so, I stopped my scripted plans for the day and went. Not only was it delicious, but I made some great memories!
God brings people, circumstances, situations, and events into our lives that we don’t plan for. Life happens. Ever heard the saying, “Everything happens for a reason”? I believe it does. We can learn and grow from everything in our lives–no matter how painful it may be. It is so easy to fill up our lives with all of the minute details that we can all too easily forget about the mighty God who is supposed to be the Lord of our lives.
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all–oh, how well I remember–the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope; God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, His merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits; to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst. Lamentations 3:19-30, the message remix.
Sometimes our “plans” get interrupted by an invitation to lunch, a phone call, a friend who needs help, an unforeseen problem, or even the God of the universe knocking on the door of your heart saying, “It’s time to talk.” What do we do in these situations? I mean, come on! We have a schedule we must attend to….people to see, places to go, things to accomplish! Hold up. What did the verses above say?
- Remember where you’ve come from (vs.19-21). Where are you today and how did you get there? Are you growing and going in Christ? How has He changed you over the past six months? Remember where you have come from and thank God everyday for what He is doing in and through you.
- Keep a firm grip on HOPE (vs.21). What is HOPE? According to Hebrews 6:18-20, HOPE is an unbreakable spiritual lifeline that reaches past appearances & straight into the presence of God. That sounds like a lifeline that I want to grab onto and never let go!
- Embrace the love of Christ (vs. 22-24). These verses in Lamentations specifically tell us that God’s love is “loyal” and “merciful”–they don’t dry up and can’t run out! I don’t know about you, but I am thanking God with everything inside of me for His never-ending, unbiased love!
- Stick with God (vs. 24). Stick with God. Let Him be the author of your life. Once you and I allow Him to be our everything, what’s written in our outlook isn’t top priority anymore.
- Passionately wait for God (vs.25). Just being honest, I don’t like this one! Have you ever wanted something so badly, yet have to wait?! It’s like the anticipation for Christmas morning. Verse 25 flat-out tells us that God is good to those who passionately wait. Waiting doesn’t have to be boring (hence the passionate part). Actively wait for God’s timing and purpose. Let Him guide you.
- Diligently seek God (vs. 25). This one requires work. We have to seek God actively, not passively. We can’t just think about God and assume that’s what a relationship with Him looks like. A true, vibrant relationship with God is not only total dependence on Him, but also us actively seeking His face.
- Quietly HOPE. Back to our lifeline here. Hold onto it firmly, yet quietly. Humbly wait for God. Don’t yell and scream at His face angrily reminding Him how busy you are or that you just don’t have time for this. Wait for Him. Hold that HOPE in your heart and don’t let it go.
- Go off by yourself (vs. 28-30). I know life gets busy and we do have duties and obligations; however, we need to create that white space in our lives. It is extremely important that we can have a time and place to go off by ourselves and talk to God and merely just sit in His presence. Honestly, this time happens the best when you don’t plan in out. God works in unscripted ways; be open to what He is doing.
What plans are being changed in your life today? Who do you need to call and meet at Starbucks? Do you need to sit in the presence of God and just hold onto HOPE? Is there white space in your life? If not, what can you do to make some? Are you passionately waiting, diligently seeking, and quietly hoping? God works in unscripted ways. We tend to write a script for our lives: mapping out schools, future careers, who we will marry, etc. God likes to take that script, throw it out, and simply ask, “Do you trust me?” Are you willing to throw your script away to allow God to work in your life?
Please Note: I am not saying you should never make plans, live out of your car, flunk out of college, or marry whoever waltzes into your life saying they are God’s next best thing for you. I am saying that while we plan for the future, we need to allow God to hold the pen. He works in unscripted, out-of-the-ordinary ways in our lives. We want it all figured out asap. He lets us know in His timing. Follow where His pen leads. He does write the story of our lives, but we must choose to accept it–in an unscripted way.