If you would have ever told me that I’d be frightened of a blank sheet of paper, I’d have looked at you like you had 3 heads. REALLY? A blank sheet of paper? But honestly, I’ve encountered a time when that scared me the most.
You see, I’m a planner. I’ve tried to be spontaneous and it just doesn’t fly for me for one reason or another. I need to know ahead of time, I need to have a plan. A To Do list doesn’t hurt either. 😉 That’s how I’ve run my life.
Several years ago, I heard a speaker talk about that piece of paper. On a hot summer day, he said that we make a list of what we want in our lives and we write out a plan and we hand that to God, sort of like a contract, and say to Him, “Here. Make this happen.”
He challenged us instead to take a blank piece of paper, sign the bottom as though it is a contract, and hand it to him.
I will never forget the feeling I had as I sat in that pew.
Are you kidding?
Just a blank piece of paper and let God fill it up? I was so challenged by that idea because I like control. I like the plan. Do I really trust him? Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” I have always loved that verse! When I first started clinging to it was in a time in my life when I did have a plan of what was next. As I look back, I see now that I was naïve. I was, in fact, handing God a contract and telling him that the plans he had for me were the plans I had for me. The hope and future I wanted were what I was asking him for. I wasn’t trusting him to come up with a better plan.
So, back to that pew where I sat sweating – partially from the heat, partially from the thought of that blank sheet of paper. I see it as a pivotal moment in my faith, when even after walking through lots of darkness and seeing how he brought me through, I accepted that I still struggled to trust him with my future. So I let go. In my mind, I took that blank sheet of paper,
I signed the bottom…
…and I handed it to him.
A couple years later, I hit a transition in my life. It was a page turning kind of year. On the next page, I could see a glimpse. It was blank. After spending so many years serving in a certain capacity, I was left with this strange apprehension of what was next. All I could see was a blank page with my name signed at the bottom.
He tells me that His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, so I have to trust that God knows the next step. As I’m obedient to what he has set before me, I begin to see a little writing in the margins. I become aware of areas that he might use my gifts to serve him. I step out and catch a new vision. Then eventually, it’s as though I see a Sharpie in God’s hand. I don’t always know what he is going to write, but I know I have to trust him. I have to step out. I’m not exactly sure what that Sharpie will say when it touches the paper, but I’m assured that no matter what, He has a plan for me.
Let’s pray: Thank you, God for walking with me every step of the way. For carrying me when I haven’t the strength to walk myself. Give all of us the strength and courage to give you that blank piece of paper so that you can write the story of our lives. For you are the ultimate author. Amen.