My Boat So Small by Libby Johnson

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21.

I’ve recently been spending some time in the wisdom literature of the Bible and in doing so, I’ve been reminded of how much I like to plan, and how difficult it is for me to trust God sometimes. Proverbs 19:21 grabbed my attention especially, and I found myself meditating on this verse day after day. I’m in a season of life that holds some uncertainty and transition. I am a planner, I have always been so and will probably always be so. Therefore, when transition befalls me, I plan. I get all my little ducks in a row and ensure that each one is equipped with what it needs in order to efficiently and successfully make the said transition.

I selfishly comfort myself with the fact that God knows what plans I’ve made, but if I’m being honest, I’m a little un-comforted that I don’t really know what plans God has made. It’s easy to trust oneself, much more difficult to trust an unseen (but not unpresent) God. I can’t see the whole picture, scarcely can I see even a portion of it. How does that old poem go? “Thy sea so great, O God, my boat so small.” The Libby Johnson translation renders it, “Your understanding so great, O God, my understanding so darn stinking small.”

And so although my understanding (and my trust, oftentimes) is so minute, God’s vast plan is not ruined by my lack of trust. As the proverb says, it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails regardless of what plans I made. I asked myself many times if I would be okay with the outcome of a certain decision if it was not what I had planned. How would I react? How would I move forward? And here I arrived: Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father. There is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not. As thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.

Faithfulness past secures faithfulness future. In retrospect, one can easily see God’s faithfulness even when (and maybe especially when) their plans didn’t come to fruition as expected. If God didn’t fail or forsake you then, why would he now? So stand confidently in your small boat, seeing only a portion of the picture, making it your plan to trust the God who sees the whole sea.