“Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”–Matthew 6:34 ASV
As I stopped to reflect on 2021 and the goals I set for that year, I had mixed emotions. I definitely had plans for the year and goals that I did attain, thanks to God, but other things happened that never crossed my mind. I think many people can agree that 2021 was a difficult year. There were some monumental, proud moments, and then there were some heartbreaking, devastating ones, too. Thus, my mixed emotions; I’d felt happy, thankful, accomplished, excited, heartbroken, betrayed, sad, lonely, and grieved. The week before Christmas, I overheard a person say something like this: “Here’s my plan. I’m going to finish my work for tomorrow, then study if I have time. I’ll just do what I can and not worry about the test. No need in being anxious. I’ll just do what I can and see what happens.”
And to this day, that young person’s wise approach to problem-solving resonated with me and my own personal situation. I had a plan that I was certain of; I was adamant that what I intended to do would happen exactly as I wanted. I had unshakable faith that God would work it out as long as I did my part. Just like that individual suggested, I would make moves to ensure that my plan would pan out as I expected. So, time went on and I was able to check off boxes one and two, and was briefly excited to have gotten those things done; however, time sped forward with that final box still unchecked. I was doing everything I could think to do, but what I was praying and believing God for still hadn’t happened yet in the time I was anticipating.
Have you ever had a plan that just didn’t work out as you expected it would? Ever found yourself doing something you never in a million years would have seen yourself doing? Ever had a plethora of good news and events get dashed by devastating circumstances? If one of these questions describes anything or any moment you’ve encountered in life, then I can definitely relate. I found my timeline coming and going and that final box still unchecked. I had the faith, prayed, wrote the vision down, fasted, networked, and so forth. I did everything I thought to do on my end to achieve the goal, but I still wasn’t seeing an answer for the prayer. In fact, it seemed as if my circumstance was about to take a bad turn instead of getting better. Basically, I started to become anxious, and I wondered what I should do. If I’m honest, I succumbed to the anxiousness and worry because if what I wanted to happen didn’t, new problems would arise. What do I do when things don’t go according to plan? What does it mean if things don’t adhere to the plan? And I received an answer to both these questions in these three points that stood out to me during this time:
1) Matthew 6: 25-34
2) Faith over fear
I must start with Matthew 6: 25-34 because it ties the other two together. This scripture reiterates how we should not be anxious about anything. It details how if God takes care of the birds despite the fact that they don’t do certain labor, that He will also take care of us—those made in His image and worth more than the birds. Thus, every need will be met, and we should not worry about clothes or what to eat or drink. As long as we put God first and seek Him, He shall supply every need. Tied into these verses is the point of faith and trust. As one who knows that God loves me and believes in His word, shouldn’t I trust that everything will work out? Shouldn’t I believe that if my plan doesn’t transpire, God’s enacting a better plan for me? Shouldn’t I hold on to the belief that God will supply every need? In the situation, it appeared as if my plan was failing, and I was just receiving no after no after no; however, sometimes a ‘no’ is really God giving a ‘not yet’ for a reason. The beauty of a ‘not yet’ is that it assures a better promise is to come. A ‘not yet’ does not mean that it’ll never happen but that it will happen at a point in the future, just not in the exact moment we may want or expect it to. There may be many reasons for your ‘not yet’ season, but in that time, I have learned to hold onto my faith that better will come along, to trust God, and to remember that God will take care of me, supplying every need.
My hope and encouragement for anyone reading this today are to not lose faith, trust God, and keep striving until your ‘not yet’ becomes a ‘yes.’ Choose not to panic or give up on the goal altogether but keep pursuing the plan while yielding to God’s master plan for your life.