By: Wendy van Eyck
What is Godâ€™s plan for my life? Every Christian (if not every person) has asked themselves this question (or a variation of it) at least once.
Right up front letâ€™s get one thing straight: Humans already messed up the plan and Jesus already fixed it. If you ever needed permission to breathe in a little freedom I just gave it to you (well actually God by his grace gave it to you a couple of thousand years ago but that is another article). If you really believe that Jesus has come and fixed the plan that God had for you than why are you (and just about everyone else you know) so scared of messing up God’s plan for your life?
Youâ€™ve probably met some one who thinks they know what Godâ€™s plan for their life is (theyâ€™re probably that incredibly annoying successful person that everyone else wants to be). Then youâ€™ve probably met others who attend every Christian conference in the hope that the speaker will stop mid-sentence and deliver a prophecy that is just for them and tells them step-by-step what God wants for their life (but it never happens). Then thereâ€™s are the people everyone claims theyâ€™re not part of: the â€œIâ€™m-so-scared-of-getting-it-wrong-Iâ€™m-not-going-to-do-anything-till-I-hear-clearly-from-Godâ€ group. And of course thereâ€™s the group (that more of us probably fall into then we care to admit) that are scared they have heard Godâ€™s plan for their life (and they donâ€™t like it or think that Godâ€™s got the wrong person because itâ€™s just too BIG) that they run as far away as possible.
Jonah fell into that last group. If you donâ€™t know the story of Jonah from your Sunday School classes then hereâ€™s a quick recap of the biblical story: God told Jonah to go to Nineveh (from what the Bible says this was most evil place you can think of so probably Las Vegas) and tell the people there that God was going to destroy them in 3 days. This scared Jonah, so he decided to hop on a boat and head to Tarshish, or Timbuktu, or anywhere off Godâ€™s radar really. However, Jonah had yet to learn that once God sets his mind to something he is not easily turned back or dissuaded. While making his escape from Godâ€™s plan a huge storm overpowered the small boat Jonah was hiding on. It didnâ€™t take the other passengers long before they decided to throw Jonah overboard, surrendering his fate to the sea, rather than sealing theirs. As Jonah hit the water, the storm stopped, and Jonah was inhaled like plankton into the whaleâ€™s mouth.
Jonah sits and prays (and probably wonders why he didnâ€™t just drown) in the belly of a whale for three days before being vomited out onto the main beach in Nineveh. Howâ€™s that? Jonah found himself on the exact beach that had caused him to board the ship in the first place, the very beach that he had been trying to avoid. The problem for Jonah was that it was the only beach in the world that God wanted him on. And God was going to make sure he got there even if it meant being swallowed by a whale.
Why do I like that story? I like that story because it gives me hope that if Jonah, (who was actively rebelling against what God wanted him to do), could be guided by God to the exact place God wanted him to be, then if you are actively seeking what God wants for your life then God can probably get you there too. And I donâ€™t know about you but that births a lot of freedom in my soul, a lot of space to just relax and let God figure out the details of the plan he has for my life. After all isnâ€™t true freedom living as the person God created us to be?
Realising that Godâ€™s in control, even when you think youâ€™re in control, translates into living a life where all that is required of you is that you show up. Jonah didnâ€™t even show up in the right place but God still used him, how much more do you think God will use you if youâ€™re saying, â€œHere I am Lord, use me!â€ So stop stressing about whether or not youâ€™re doing what God prepared for you and go be free.