only (adj.): unquestionably the best; alone in a class or category

“We plan the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able to live it.” Proverbs 16:9

Plans, goals, hopes, and dreams. Many of ours come directly from God.  He created each one of his children with unique interests, strengths, and desires; and he has big ideas for us.

A friend of mine shared with me recently her hopes for a special relationship in the near future. Another friend, after years of schooling and internships and short-term positions, is searching and praying for a pastoral position with limited possibilities. A third is dreaming of sharing Jesus with orphans in Zambia…but the logistics seem prohibitive–at least for now.  

We can try to make our lives go the way we think we want.

Our part?

We set our goals, we take all the courses, we make the right connections. We follow the examples of those we respect, ask important questions, listen to advice, and work hard.   

God’s part?  

He makes it happen. He is the only one we can trust to lead us into a future that brings glory to him. He is the only one who makes a way for us into a final interview, he is the only one who places the right people on our paths, he is the only one who creates new life by doing miracles inside our bodies, and he is the only one who provides every single opportunity, every single dollar, every single ounce of energy we need.

It’s a tricky dance sometimes–planning our lives and trusting God with the next steps. Some of us get a smoother, clearer path than others. Some of us seem to run up against closed doors and dead ends more often than not. All of us make mistakes, miss opportunities, fail to make the right choices, and do things for selfish reasons.  We often follow after dreams that we think are from God only to find ourselves confused and navigating a completely different path.

As hard as it sometimes is to figure out what God is doing, we know for sure that we can absolutely trust him. And we can be grateful that as he moves in these mysterious and unpredictable ways, his plans for us are always good. If we keep leaning into him–trying to give God control of each step–we can count on him to lead us into a meaningful life. A life in which his spirit inspires us, his power makes things possible, his creativity and resources provide the strength and wisdom that we need.

Invite Him In: Make your plans, dream your dreams, but most importantly– ask Jesus every day to do what only he can do in your life. With his wisdom and power, he can accomplish things that seem impossible, he can turn confusion into clarity, and he can bring beauty and good out of heartache and struggle. He will lead you with the amazing power and immense love that ONLY he provides. Every step of the way.