by my talented husband, Bill Stoner
Reflect: Guess what? I have a friend, yes, a real friend. Actually, I have two friends if you count my wife, but let’s just keep it at one for the sake of the story. Now about that friend. As friends, we do the normal things that friends do: we talk a lot about the Bible and how it affects our Christian lives, we do lunch together, we email each other, we text each other, we share funny things that we saw or read, and we do lunch together. Did I already say that last one? Oh well, we certainly do lunch together, usually on a day that we’re not having breakfast together.
And so, I think you can see that I have a real friend. However, even the best of friends sometimes do things or say things that may bother you, not to the point that you need to say something, but never the less, it still bothers you. Let me explain. Whenever I receive a text from my friend, he always ends it with, “Lord willing”. Now, I see that as a throw away phrase, it’s just something you tag on at the end of a sentence. It doesn’t mean much, but it’s nice to say.
Boy, was I wrong! After reading the passage in James 4: 13-17, I was humbled and humiliated; my friend had a far better understanding of what that phrase means than I ever did. Let me explain. Most Christians who want to start a business will first develop a business plan. This is an outline of what you want your business to look like, how many employees will you need, what supplies do you have to have, and what is your overall philosophy of how your business will operate. In other words, what is your vision for a successful business? That all sounds great, but James asks, “Aren’t you forgetting something?” “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14-15). In other words, it is far more important to follow the Lord’s business plan than it is to only trust your years of business experience. That is not to say that a business plan isn’t warranted, it certainly is, but the first item on that plan is: Is this the Lord’s will?
If you plan on taking your kids to the park today, or if you plan on having a quiet time next to the pool, or even if you’re planning to meet someone for lunch, (it’s been a while, just saying) remember, it will only be if the Lord’s willing. He is sovereign and all our plans should focus on what He desires. So go ahead, enjoy the day…..Lord willing!