This quote from Francis Chan in his book Crazy Love really put worrying into perspective for me. It made me think back to all of the nights I had lost sleep worrying about things that were out of my control. There were so many nights that I forgot that God is big enough, powerful enough, and loving enough to take care of whatʼs happening in my life.
I would mostly worry about the plan for my life. While in high school, I had everything in my life completely planned out, from where Iʼd spend my four years of college and the degree Iʼd receive to what Iʼd be doing with my degree. I had everything mapped out, and I couldnʼt imagine a better plan than my own. I couldnʼt imagine a situation where my plan didnʼt work out, and this caused a lot of worry about the future.
During my first year of college it became evident very quickly that a lot of my plans werenʼt going to work out. This caused even more worry and anger towards God because I simply did not trust that he was big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what was happening in my life. I didnʼt trust Him, and I didnʼt trust the plan that he had for me.
Thinking about the future causes anxiety and worry in all of us. It’s unknown and out of our control, and both of these things terrify us. The definition of worry says, “allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulties or troubles.” So here’s the problem with worry: we are allowing our minds to dwell on the wrong thing. Colossians 3:2 tells us to “set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” When we set our minds on eternity, it shifts our view to seeing God as who He truly is in our lives, and that is sovereign and in control. But instead, we look at the troubles and uncertainty that lay ahead which leads us to look to ourselves as sovereign and in control of our lives. Elisabeth Eliot said, “Worry is the antithesis of trust. You simply cannot do both. They are mutually exclusive.” As long as we are worried about what the future holds, we will never let God hold our future. The key to stop worrying is to start trusting in a God that is bigger and greater than yourself.
Take a second and look back at how many things you have worried over in your life and tried to plan out. Now think about how many of those went exactly according to the plan you had in your mind. When I think back, there are none. No matter how hard I try to plan, it always plays out differently. So as we are in college, we are constantly thinking about our future plans and jobs. Some of us have in our mind the perfect 5 year plan and know where we want too. Others don’t even know what classes they are taking next semester, let alone where they will be in two months. But in both these situations, we will look back a year from now and retrace the steps God has lead us to take. These steps will be ones you would have never taken on your own, but God knew where He wanted you to be. You might have a vague idea of what you want to do with your life, but God knows every detail of how He will use you. We are trying to make decisions on our own while we can’t see the bigger picture. We see our life up close like viewing a movie of 1 or 2 pixels while God is viewing the beautiful, high definition picture of all 1080 pixels. Matthew 6:27 asks, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” No! If anything, our worry takes away precious moments from our life. So let us give up our worry to God and allow Him to replace it with trust in His plans.
Iʼm now finishing up my junior year of college, and as I look back over the last three years, I can confidently tell you the most important lesson that I have learned while in college. It wasnʼt a lesson from a math class, or even a Bible class, even though those lessons are important. The most important lesson that I learned is that Godʼs plan for my life is far greater than my own. If you had asked me as an 18 year old what Iʼd be doing at 21, I never would have guessed it would be this. But the truth is, God knew exactly where I would at 18, 21, and every year after that in the midst of my worrying.
So we have to ask ourselves if we trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, and loving enough to take care of whatʼs happening in our life? Do we trust that He has a plan for our life? I can promise you He is all of those things, and I can promise you that His plan is greater than yours. So why worry? God has a great plan for you!