Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wishes we will do this or that.’ James 4:15
As I have grown older, I have gained a different perspective on life. While I am not assured of today, I most definitely am not assured of tomorrow. While I try not to live moment-to-moment, and really who can, when we have to make appointments for everything from appliance repairs to physical examinations and reservations for everything from concert tickets to travel itineraries. To some degree in our world we have to live for and make plans for tomorrow. More and more, I find myself saying with regard to this dinner reservation later this week or that dental appointment in six months, “Lord willing.” In other words, barring any unforeseen circumstances I will honor those commitments. “Lord willing,” I will do those things.
Our scripture verse above provides the Biblical basis for making such a statement. Our lives are in God’s hands and for us to declare I will do this or that is not solely within our power. Therefore, if the Lord is willing … if the Lord gives me life and breath … if I am not ill or providentially hindered and barring any unforeseen circumstances, then I will do this or that.
I readily admit that it is more difficult for me to make plans months or years out than it used to be. It may be short-sighted on my part, but the years have crept up on me and only if I am middle-aged do I have a lot of future years before me!
We may have the best of intentions. We may do all within our power to honor any commitments we may make for tomorrow or next year. I am still convinced however that all of our plans need to be tempered with the phrase, “Lord willing.”
Blessed Lord, we are grateful that You have plans for our lives as revealed in Jeremiah: “For surely, I know the plans I have for You, plans for Your welfare and not for harm, to give You a future with hope.”* As we make plans, remind us that You are the Lord and Giver of life, and that we can honor and keep those commitments only as You are willing. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. *(29:11)