Blindsided. We never saw it coming. Our life plan is shattered. How often do we feel as if life has kicked our legs out from under us? The shock may only last a moment or stretch for years, but none of us are immune to the impact of the unexpected.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a tree that he knew only Daniel could interpret for him. After explaining what he saw, Daniel had an ominous explanation.
“This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.
Daniel 4: 24-25
King Nebuchadnezzar had been gifted a warning. One that God allowed Daniel to explain. Surely, the king would heed and turn to God. That was Daniel’s hope, but in response to the interpretation and Daniel’s advice, the king did nothing. Knowing that everything could be taken away from him, Nebuchadnezzar failed to change. A year later he would suffer the consequences of his pride when life played out just as Daniel’s interpretation had stated
God may not gift us with prophetic dreams, but we can often trace back to the paths that led to our disappointments and upsets. Though the surprises in life can be devastating, how often do we really prepare for them spiritually? How many times throughout our days do we step away from our plans and listen and watch for God’s input?
Living a rich and full life goes far beyond the pages of an overpriced planner or our 10 year plan. As a creation of God, our lives are eternally linked to the spiritual. When we make significant decisions without God’s guidance, we set ourselves up for the shocking, plan-shattering moments of the unexpected. Granted, we cannot always plan for or know what is exactly ahead, but our best defense against the destruction of the enemy and consequence of poor decision making is to rely on reasoning beyond our own.
Getting caught up is easy. Getting so attached to a plan that we block out the rest of the world happens to us at least a few times in life. It’s never too late to start including God in your plan and keeping your heart, eyes, and ears open to his urging and leadership.
Nebuchadnezzar lost almost everything due to his vanity and pride. He knew what was coming and let his beliefs and plans overshadow the plans of God. Still, God did not forget him. As the king was restored to his mind, God also gave him back his kingdom. All because the king humbled himself before God.
So, even when we screw up. Even when we leave God out of the plan, and everything backfires, there is a way to learn, grow, and even find restoration in the chaos of our misguided path. We just have to humble ourselves. We have to remember that God is so much more and knows so much more than we ever could. There’s no one better to have on your life-planning committee than the One who knows all.
Featured image by Tanja Heffner