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 hopeJer. 29:11 

Heavenly Father, this oft-quoted verse both confronts us and comforts us. It confronts that part of us that wishes you would simply “baptize” the plans we make for ourselves. We would write stories that include as little disruption and change as possible, few surprises and zero suffering, tons of familiarity and lots of predictability.

In essence, we’d choose a life requiring little faith and no waiting—just the opposite of life between Jesus’ two Advents. Thank you for your kindness and patience with us, Father. In our most gospel-sane moments, that’s not what we really want.

We don’t really want you to be programable by our whims and fancies We trust and love you, Father. You gave Jesus to us and for us, of course you’ll give us everything else we actually need (Rom. 8:32).

It’s just that sometimes your plans include things that, in the moment, don’t really feel like they’re for our welfare. There are stretches when it seems like you answer our prayers with more “No’s” than “Yes’s.”

Healing doesn’t come quick enough; or our vacations, careers, or “retirement” don’t go as planned. Our kids struggle, furnaces fizzle, cars break, and good friends move on. Instead of grace upon grace, sometimes life feels like surprise after surprise.

And yet Father, we know better. We know if we knew what you know, we’d rest more and wrangle less; we’d rejoice more and resent less; we’d have more peaceful days and less sleepless nights. Life between Jesus’ two Advents reminds us you are our true Home; and our past, present, and future are in perfect hands.

So, grant us fresh grace to wait upon you for the hope to which you have called us. Turn our whines into worship, our daily carping into carpe diem, and our frets into faith. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’s beautiful and grace-full name.