“Lord willing” was a commonly heard phrase in my childhood years. Perhaps having parents who had seen war and depression made them more aware of who was really sovereign. Or perhaps it was a phrase reserved for older people, who live more with the realization of shortening years or have experienced the unpredictability of life. James reminds us:
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.’ Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15.
What power or influence does mist have? Can mist control very much or is it subject to other forces such as heat and light? If we are mist, it certainly puts the phrase “Lord willing” in a different light. This year ahead brings uncertainty at an earthly level – we have no guarantees for ourselves or the schools/churches/organizations we serve. We are here at God’s desire and for his purposes – what a delight to rest in that fact. We operate at his will and for his pleasure– let’s acknowledge our temporality and his sovereignty – even in our daily speech. We must trust he has “prepared in advance” the work that he wants us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
Blessings on the new year ahead!