I ask myself this question as I take down my 2020 wall calendar and hang up my 2021 calendar. I guess I’m hoping quite a bit of something good is in a number, specifically in a new number for a new year. It hasn’t been twenty-four hours yet, so maybe I should give 2021 a little more time, but so far I don’t discern any difference in today (2021) from yesterday. (2020)
The prevailing sentiment has been a desire for the year 2020 to end. The reason for this is no mystery but the realization that 2021 has no magic up its sleeve to mask all our losses and heartaches behind a shroud of false reality and thereby enable us to move forward, will be a rude awakening for many, whenever it should become apparent. (all puns intended)
I look at my new 2021 calendar and open it to the month of January. On the page are written these words, “set your goals now and watch as they unfold throughout the year.” If only it were that simple! Like many of you, I, too, am a planner. If only I could plan and know that it would come to pass. This is the time we make New Year’s resolutions and set goals and plan for the future. But . . . Proverbs 19:21 has something interesting to say about this,
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
I do spend time planning, dreaming, desiring, pursuing, striving after – after what? That is an important question which I should be able to answer. Proverbs 3:5-6 gives me this advice,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Matthew 6:33-34 tells me, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
So much for all of my carefully laid plans. If nothing else, this past year taught us (and taught me) we can’t count on our own plans becoming reality. My plans have no certainty of coming true. 2020 was the year of postponed plans/events, rescheduled plans/events and cancelled indefinitely plans/events. Maybe I should plan less and trust God more? Proverbs 16:9 says,
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
Jeremiah says in 10:23, “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”
Maybe that would be a good New Year’s resolution for me – stop leaning on my own understanding and instead, trust God completely. Of course, my Heavenly Father doesn’t necessarily tell me what my future holds, He just asks me to follow wherever He leads. Psalm 23 tells me some of the places He will lead me saying,
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? green pastures, quiet waters, and paths of righteousness. Still, this path of righteousness can require me to pass through some dangerous places. But I have my Heavenly Father’s promise to me as I follow Him on the path He has prepared for me,
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:4-5)
God’s presence will protect and provide for me as I allow Him to direct my paths. 2021 is uncharted territory, maybe it is time I let the One who knows the beginning from the end take the lead in my life?
“I am God, and there is none like Me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ ” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
My plans sometimes don’t hold up for even a day, let alone something planned months ahead. In other words, my plans are pretty wishy-washy and subject to change with every whim and wind of the moment. Not at all reliable. But God’s plans and purposes always materialize, always come to pass. In a world of uncertainty, it would be nice to have something to count on, something or someone to put my hope in. Psalm 33:10-11 tells me,
“The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.”
That’s the assurance I’m looking for in this uncertain world – God’s plans, promises and purposes stand firm forever. They cannot be thwarted. God is calling me to take up my cross and follow Him. Like Abraham, I have a decision to make. I can follow God and go with His plan, or lean on my own understanding. (which I confess – doesn’t always end well for me) Like Abraham, I don’t know where God will lead me, what lies on the path ahead, but I know I can trust God and walk by faith.
“Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)
I don’t know what lies ahead in 2021, it is an unknown future stretching ahead of me on this first day of the New Year. After 2020, I don’t even dare to fill in any of the squares on my new calendar. But I don’t need to know what the future holds, my Heavenly Father knows and that is enough for me to walk without fear into 2021. I have these words of assurance from Psalm 121:3-8,
“He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
that’s all I need to know,
sincerely, Grace Day
4 thoughts on “C.C. what’s in a number? #146”
The fastest way to make God laugh is to make plans! I don’t remember where I heard that but it is probably true as our plans mean absolutely nothing!.
I loved this! The Lord will not sleep or slumber. That’s so comforting knowing that he never misses one thing in our lives whether big or small.
Loved this post. Barb. You certainly chose all of my favorite scriptures. I like to plan too, but I know God is my ultimate planner and I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of His plans for my life. Thank you for putting 2021 in God’s perspective.