A few years ago my husband and I found ourselves disagreeing on an activity our daughter could do in the upcoming school year. (Yes, this was a Sunday morning before church. How did you guess?) I came to realize that our daughter had strong feelings on this issue, too. We all engaged in an intense discussion, sharing our tightly held views. After not reaching an agreement, I was left alone in my bathroom to finish my hair and stew, I mean, think.
I was having an encounter with “Mr. Hubby Plans.” “Mrs. My Plans” wasn’t getting along with him, and it wasn’t their first go-round. Both were strong contenders, not wanting to lose. Not only that, but now it seemed that the two of them had found a worthy opponent in “Lil’ Miss Plans.”
This battle pitted us two against one. I was outnumbered but thought I could win on pure determination and a strong argument. This strategy had proven effective in the past. I’d keep “Mrs. Pouting” and “Mrs. Crying” on the sidelines unless the battle became fierce, and I needed reinforcements.
As I worked with my hair and contemplated my next strategic move, someone showed up in my bathroom uninvited…God. He made Himself comfortable and settled in to have a little conversation with His plotting daughter.
God wasn’t there long before I came to find out He’s a “planner” as well. He reminded me that He, too, had plans for my daughter. Had anyone checked with Him about this situation? Oops. He also reminded me that His GOD plan was better than any one of my GOOD plans. As I gained clarity on this, it also shed light on a passage that I hadn’t understood as fully as I did now. Here it is:
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Joshua 5:13-14a, NIV
The first time I came across this passage, I was like, “What? You can’t come to a battle with a drawn sword and not be on one side or the other!” But apparently, I was wrong. There weren’t just two sides like I first had thought.
It wasn’t about God choosing my side or their side, but us choosing His. It wasn’t about my plans, my hubby’s plans, or even my daughter’s plans. It was about GOD’S plans for my daughter. His plans for her began before she was born - she didn’t have to wait until she was an adult to begin stepping into them. We could search out His plans for her now.
I also concluded I wasn’t supposed to be fighting against my husband and daughter. (Although I think I could’ve taken them...if it was a surprise attack, and then if I ran away quickly. And if I were wearing camouflage. Yeah, camouflage would be a nice touch.) The three of us weren’t supposed to be at odds with each other - we were to be falling in line behind the Lord. At that point everything became easier. I was no longer concerned about being right and having my way. Now we could be reunited and jointly search out God’s plans.
Ephesians 2:10 NLT says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”