Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong.
James 4:13-16 Amplified Bible
“She’s been bumped from the schedule,” my mother said over the breakfast table. It was 9:30 A.M. on a Friday morning. Our family had gathered to support my sister and brother-in-law as their 3 year old daughter underwent closed heart surgery to correct a rare genetic defect. We had all been stressing over this upcoming surgery for the past several months and the day was finally here. So when my mother said, “She’s been bumped from the schedule,” there was a collective sigh of frustration. We just wanted it to be over. We wanted to get it done and go back to life as normal. No more fear and anxiety. No more sleepless nights and stress eating or not eating. No more short tempers. No more isolation for my niece and nephew as my sister tried to keep all germs away before the big day. No more waiting.
Our niece’s upcoming surgery had dominated all of our lives since summer. We made plans and schedules. We had packed bags and given gifts and stocked up on food and had a schedule of people in place to look after our 19 month old nephew. We were prepared. And in a moment, it all changed.
And in that moment where it all changed, I couldn’t help but hear God say, “Why do you always have to be in control? Can you never just let things go into my hands? They are much stronger and more capable than yours.”
I thought of this passage from the book of James–one that has always had a way of putting me precisely into my humble place. “Who are you to make plans? Who are you to have the future all figured out? Who are you, really? You are here but by the grace of God. So live like it.”
Live like it. Live like it by letting go of the concept of “the future”. Live like it by embracing the present.
Our niece’s surgery has been rescheduled for November 4. But of course, a lot could happen between now and then. And so, we’re trying to let go. No more domination of fear. No more obsessive planning and organizing. No more trying to control a situation that is completely out of our hands.
Instead, we are giving thanks for a healthy little girl who could be bumped out of a surgery.
Blessings and Peace,