Our Plans and God’s Purpose

My wife and I just became parents; Britt labored for 38 hours before they opted to perform a cesarean section. I was able to watch most of the surgery; it was pretty disgusting but also incredibly amazing. They made an incision, cut the muscles and then started stretching the incision apart. I looked away for just a moment and by the time I looked back I saw the doctors pulling out our son’s head, and then they (not so carefully) pulled the rest of our son out of Britt.  As they dabbed him with a towel he peed on the doctor (I was so proud!).

Before the surgery I was just concerned about Britt rather than anticipating the excitement of the moment. But when the moment came I looked at him and started crying, I was so overwhelmed! ‘That is my son!’ I couldn’t explain the instant connection I felt with him. It was love at first sight.  

But up until the delivery I wasn’t necessarily feeling anything at all.

Britt and I were not planning on having children until we had been married five years. Financially we planned on paying off our debt in three years, then move to New York City and continue working with urban youth. God saw fit to shatter our plans, but not without protest.

There were many nights the first few months of the pregnancy where I was praying to Jesus, asking him why he would do this to us. In my head I would say,

‘God we don’t have enough money to do this. We can hardly pay down our debt and still pay our other bills. I don’t know how we are going to do this.’

It was in those moments late at night where I felt God reassure me, as if to say, ‘have you ever gone through a problem that I did not help you through? I provided then, I will provide now.’ He brought to mind the name that Abraham first used in Genesis 22:14 [Jehovah Jireh] – ‘The Lord will Provide.’

From that point forward I did not question how we would do this. I decided in my spirit that no matter what happens, no matter how hard or how crazy it gets, I need not worry because God will provide for our needs. Especially when we seek first ‘His kingdom and His righteousness’ (Matthew 6:33).

But it’s easier said than done.

If you know my wife, you know she is a planner. She has a type A personality, where I am more of a laid back type. I knew that if I was worried about finances and being prepared for a baby, she must have been struggling even more than I was. A conversation at a coffee shop about our living situation confirmed my suspicion. We both wanted to be on top of things, to go to the next plan, to be in control.

We all struggle with control issues. One of the symptoms of our need for control is planning. Not that planning in itself is bad, but the amount of hope we put in our plans can be.

When we found out we were pregnant our plan changed, and for us we felt stuck. So naturally we started to make different plans. All of our new plans involved getting a bigger place for our family. We even started to look into buying cheap houses, or renting 2 or 3 bedroom apartments. But the reality was we couldn’t afford to lose the deposit and break the lease at our apartment. And as I informed Britt of this at the coffee shop we both felt helpless. We couldn’t make more plans yet, and we cried.

As we sat there together in emotional turmoil, I asked if we could pray together. Britt and I prayed for us to give up control of our lives to God, to realize that He is our provider and will help us get through this. As we prayed we started to feel more gratitude for the things He already provided for us.

We went from being bewildered to being thankful.

God changed our perspective, and gave us a different hope. We will still plan but we know that the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9).

How has God provided in your time of need?

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