I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11 

Heavenly Father, this much-loved, oft’ quoted verse, both challenges and comforts us. It challenges the part of us that wishes you’d simply sign off on the plans we’d make for ourselves.We’d write stories that include as little disruption and change as possible, few surprises and no suffering, tons of familiarity and copious predictability. Of course, we would! In essence, we’d love for you to be Sugar Daddy, not Abba Father. Thank you for your kindness and patience with us.

But at the core of the new heart you’ve given us in Jesus, that’s not what we really want. We don’t really want to exchange places with you—making us the potter and you the clay. We trust you and we love you, Father. You gave Jesus to us and for us. Of course, you’ll give us everything else we truly need (Rom. 8:32).

It’s just that sometimes your plan includes things that, in the moment, don’t feel like they’re for our welfare. There are stretches when it seems like you answer our prayers with a disproportionate amount of “No’s” to “Yes’s”—as though the only good answer to one of our prayers is “Yes!”

Healing doesn’t come quick enough, and the next bit of hard news comes too soon. Kids struggle, and cars break down; furnaces go kaput, and good friends move on. Politics make life crazy, and stories of abuse turn our stomachs. Instead of “grace upon grace,” life in our world often feels like “harm upon harm” and “spin upon spin.”

And yet, Father, you are in control—all the time, and in every place. So, grant us fresh grace to trust, wait, and hope. Turn our whines into worship, our daily carping into carpe diem, and our daily-news frets into eternal-gospel peace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’s beautiful and grace-full name.