Have you ever tried to use worn-out crutches, with the metal sticking through the rubber feet, on a dock or a boardwalk?
You have to go slow and purposefully place the crutches in the middle of each board, watching every single step. The second you look up, your crutch lodges in a crack.
That is the position I was in this past summer, both literally and figuratively. I was entering my senior year of high school without a dream.
It wasn’t just not knowing where to go to college or what I wanted to major in, it was more than that. My future was a blank canvas without a speck, and I hadn’t the slightest idea what I wanted it to look like.
I began to get worried. Should I make up a dream? Pick a random something as a goal? This was compounded by the fact that I had met two other teens who had the next five years of their lives planned out in considerable detail.
But God placed people in my life to dispel my anxiety and I want to share their advice with those of you who might feel the same way.
1. God has a plan for your life.
Isaiah 42:6a: “I, the LORD, have called you for a righteous purpose, and I will hold you by Your hand.”
Big sigh of relief. I don’t need to make up a big goal for my life to have meaning, because God has already planned the whole thing out. I haven’t slipped through the cracks. Sometimes I forget this and simply need a reminder.
2. You can’t mess up God’s plan for your life.
Proverbs 16:9: “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.”
My mom offered me this nugget of wisdom and I call it to mind quite often. When I realize that God is going to accomplish His purpose for my life whether I come along willingly or kicking and screaming, it becomes easier to act.
With the Lord determining my steps, I can’t go wrong.
3. You can’t miss it either.
Acts 9:5: “’Who are You, Lord?’ Saul said. ‘I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting,’ He replied.”
So you can’t mess up God’s plan for your life, but can you miss His blessings? As my youth pastor said, no one in the Bible ever wondered if it was really God who was talking to them. Saul was unsure which God, so he asked, and Jesus responded.
Basically, while you can choose to purposefully ignore the Holy Spirit’s leading, you can’t accidentally miss God’s blessings if you are searching to do His will.
4. Don’t pursue the same things as the world.
Proverbs 23:4-5a: “Don’t wear yourself out to get rich; stop giving your attention to it. As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears…”
When you were younger, did you ever fantasize about making a gigantic discovery or inventing something brilliant that would make you millions of dollars? I did.
But the older I get, the more I realize that there is so much more to this life than money. While you want to act with financial wisdom, you don’t need to plan your entire life around how to get money.
Which leads to my next point…
5. God will provide.
Philippians 4:11-13: “I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content, whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I don’t know if He will cause a milk truck to break down at the corner so you can feed your house full of orphans, but I know He will provide the strength to get through whatever difficult circumstances you find yourself in.
6. Relax, God’s got everything under control.
Matthew 6:31-34: “So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
It all comes down to trust. Do you trust God to know what’s best for your life? Do you trust that He will continue to lay the boardwalk underneath your feet/crutches while you keep moving, even if you can’t look up to see it for yourself?
It’s hard, but I hope, like me, you are learning that our Lord is worthy of our trust.