Proverbs 16:1 (TPT) Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but it’s the Lord who will ultimately direct your steps.
Proverbs 16:9 (TPT) Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.
I admit it…I’m a planner. In my young adult years, this perfectionist was obsessed with planning and making lists, trying not to miss or forget anything. Fast forward a few decades and a couple of daughters, I don’t make as many lists. I am a somewhat reformed perfectionist, but I still make plans. I like to know which days I go to the gym. I have one day set for laundry, house cleaning, etc. I have regular days each week for volunteering.
In 2015, I trained for three months to hike Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. My plan was to be physically prepared to conquer the summit and view God’s glorious panorama from the top of the ginormous granite boulder. While on the elliptical with my 22-pound pack, I prayed “God do not let me get injured during training or on this hike!” My husband told me that I trained like an animal!
Finally, hike day arrived and my little group of three set off in the early morning stillness of the park. As darkness gave way to the sunrise, we laughed and sang, soaking in nature’s beauty along the way. All was well until it wasn’t. I began to have symptoms of high altitude sickness, something I could not have trained for in Houston. With less than two miles to the summit, I knew something in my body was not right and decided to turn back. It would be three days before I would be aware of what had happened. I believe God carried me two miles down-trail where I waited for the others to return from the summit. He orchestrated the Search and Rescue Team to be less than 30 minutes away when our call for help reached them. He granted the medical staff wisdom for treating me. You see, it was a perfect storm of hyponatremia in addition to altitude sickness. Without medical intervention, I would have died. My electrolyte levels were gravely below normal, and my body had started to shut down. When I came out of the medical coma, I did not understand what had happened or why I needed a hospital. Slowly, my brain fog lifted. I recognized my family again and recalled that I had been in Yosemite.
Despite the fact that I had somehow survived this ordeal, I still failed to grasp how dire the situation had been or how atrophied my muscles became from only three days in bed. Regaining strength would take months. For several months, my vision was hampered by the effects of hemorrhaging behind the eyes which meant I could not drive. Even so, God gave me peace throughout the healing process. If my vision were never to be restored, it would be fine. God’s patience soothed my impatient brain.
My plan for no injuries and reaching the summit didn’t go quite the way had I expected or preferred. However, none of it surprised God. Although I never had the opportunity to view that glorious panorama, God provided for my life to be saved and restored. He miraculously saved me that day. God used this event for His glory and His purpose. Prayer warriors from over 75 churches in the United States were praying for me, and my family witnessed my miraculous recovery. My story has become a stepping stone for me to speak of my faith.
Here’s the take-away: consult God, make plans, and expect the unexpected. Then, hang on for the ride with God.
Is 14:24-27 (NIV) The Lord Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.”
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV) Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.