I recently donated a kidney to my father. The process associated with a transplant procedure is very long, very extensive, and very methodical. But, after numerous tests and consultations with world-renowned doctors, we had a step-by-step plan. I was also young, healthy, and the chance of any type of complication was less than 1%.
Little did I know that complications would quickly eradicate our well-laid plans. And, the expected two-night hospital stay would promptly evolve into seven days of uncertainty and difficulty: Post-op, the doctors discovered that I was bleeding internally during my initial recovery process. Many significant health issues arose as a result of this unfortunate news. My life was in danger. Things were not going as planned!
Although I don’t remember many specific things about the frantic events during this time, I vividly remember my second trip to the Operating Room. Exploratory surgery was about to take place in search of my internal bleeding. As they transported me down the hallways of the hospital, I repetitively declared God’s promise over my life, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
At that moment -- learning of significant complications and hearing the unease of the medical staff working around me -- I could have given into fear. I could have even shaken my fist at God and asked why. However, I found myself overwhelmed with peace and comfort that only comes from God. I knew God was with me. And, I knew no matter the outcome, it would all be good, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Many times having a plan means having control. The more rehearsed it is, the more control we feel; especially, if experts help us develop it! A plan plots the path we will take and measures the steps needed to get us to our desired destination. This process for strategizing success isn’t a bad thing; in fact, it’s necessary for many circumstances and situations. But, what happens when our plans change -- or worse, they fail?
There is good news! Just like I learned on my way to an unexpected exploratory surgery to save my life, you can know, we get to rest and trust in the comfort of The Good Shepherd’s leadership through life’s most shadowy moments. Just like a natural shepherd would use his rod and staff to defend and direct his flock, God guides us safely to our destiny when we don’t know which way to go or what we will do to survive. Without fail, our Shepherd defends and directs us, steering us in the right direction when we naively think we have it all together. Perpetually, protecting us from the enemy by manifesting His goodness in our lives!
Let us not be discouraged when plans change but rather be joyful because we know that we have a good Father -- and a Good Shepherd -- who only has plans for His goodness and mercy to follow us all the days of our lives, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Will you speak it over your life with me?
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)