After a long 12 weeks of school, we’ve finally made it to our first break! We’ve now made it through the longest stretch of TPS without a break, which means we can finally take some time to relax and enjoy thanksgiving with friends and family. Amidst our relaxation, however, we must not forget to remember and be thankful for the many blessings God has given to us. We should be thankful for the opportunity to take TPS classes, the home we live in, and the families we are a part of, but also we must also remember all the things He has done for us that we don’t immediately notice.
Recently, I didn’t achieve the score I wanted on the ACT, which meant I couldn’t get the scholarship I wanted. However, through God’s providence, in preparation for this letter I read a verse that struck me from Proverbs 19:21 that states, “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (ESV). What a timely reminder that I am not in control, God is. While our plans might not pan out, we can take comfort in knowing that “it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Whatever happens in our lives, God is always in control and will always be there to guide us. We must not forget to be thankful that His plans will never fail. Though it is easy to get caught up in planning our future, no matter what happens, God is sovereign and His plans will never fail.
This year, for English class, I read an essay by M. Howard Rienstra, a former Calvin College professor, entitled “Who Is in Control?” In his essay, he chronicled part of his struggle with cancer, but, more prominently, his struggle with losing control of his life. He provides an anecdote of how a series of hospital visits changed his understanding of his life. While he knew he was going to die eventually, he continued to grasp at the illusion that he was in control of his life. Then, when doctors were attempting to give him chemotherapy, “it was decided” that he would need a catheter to administer treatment quicker. Later, after doctors found a complication with the veins in his neck, he found himself at his most vulnerable state and writes, “The loss of control came to me in the most crude way as I voided my urine during each of the three episodes of panic and gasping for breath.” Though the doctors gave him an explanation of what happened, he knew that it was a message from God. It opened his eyes and made him realize that he was not in control, but God was.
It’s so easy for us to get caught up in our own plans that we overlook the fact that, in the end, they mean nothing. Like God revealed to Professor Rienstra, He is in control and His will is the only thing that will stand. It’s truly amazing that we serve a God whose plan for us never fails. In a time where we are thankful for everything immediate He has given us, we must not forget everything He has done that we cannot yet see. While it may be disappointing that some things don’t work out exactly how we want them to, it’s ultimately for the better. God’s sovereign plans are infinitely better than anything we could ever come up with. So, as we go through our week, let’s remember to be thankful that we don’t control our lives, but God does. And when it’s hard to be thankful because something doesn’t turn out how we want it to, let’s remember what Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (ESV).
Thanks for reading,
Drew Brooks (17) is the Director of Outreach at TPS Chapel and is a Senior at TPS