When our girls began their summer break, I was a little concerned about how the weeks would unfold.
Of course, each summer is different. With my kids now 17 and 15, I wasn’t quite sure how things would play out. It’s not like you plan outings to the park, the playground, or head to the library for story time. A stop for an ice cream cone (while still welcome, believe me!) isn’t quite the highlight that it used to be.
Then there’s the fine line to walk between allowing them relaxation after a busy school year and pure laziness. (Our 17-year-old has a job, which helps with that balance!) And while it’s nice to hang out with mom some of the time, they also want to spend time with friends. Between camps, piano lessons, and random cheer practices, there are a lot more moving parts than there were when they were 7 and 5.
When I filled out my monthly prayer list for June, my request was that God would “orchestrate” our days.
I’m not sure where I came up with that word. It’s not a natural part of my vocabulary. I don’t even know that I could have told you at the beginning of last month exactly what I meant by it.
But over halfway through our summer, I can honestly say that I feel like that’s what God has done. And when I checked out the dictionary definition of the word, it fit perfectly. It says that orchestrate means to “arrange or direct the elements (of a situation) to produce a desired effect…”
From Vacation Bible School being scheduled while my oldest daughter was gone to camp for two weeks (keeping my mind and body busy!) to her work schedule to the family times and outings with friends, I believe God is arranging our summer.
So if I can trust God to do that for our summer, can’t I trust Him to do it all the time? I thought about areas of my life that need to be orchestrated, and here are a few I came up with.
“But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand…” ~Psalm 31:14-15
God is not going to give me more to do than the time I have to do it. Therefore, I want to ask for His help to arrange my time. I need to scrutinize my day and see where I’m wasting time (here’s looking at you, Instagram!) Then I can ask God to help me prioritize my tasks so that I use my time wisely.
“A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps.” ~Proverbs 16:9
I’ve always loved hearing stories from people about how God coordinated their circumstances so that something good and unusual happened. Unbelievers would call it fate or luck, but how blessed we are when we recognize how God worked behind the scenes in our lives to accomplish His will.
God brings people across our path. He will orchestrate better friendships for us than we could ever do for ourselves. We still have to do our part by being friendly and reaching out. Yet God can add to our lives people to minister to us, as well as people we can encourage. He can do the same for our kids.
God knows what we need to grow. The trials, the mountain tops, the struggles…they’re all tailor-made for us individually.
Remember Paul’s thorn in the flesh in 2 Corinthians 12? God used that to show Paul that God’s grace was sufficient, to reveal His power through Paul’s weakness. So God works in our lives to teach us about ourselves and about Him.
So if we look back at our dictionary definition, what is the desired effect of this orchestration? That we learn to trust God with every part of our life, and to glorify Him. If that’s the goal, He knows better than we do how to accomplish it.
Which brings us to one of my all time favorite passages.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6
I pray that God will not only orchestrate the remaining weeks of our summer, but that each of us will allow Him to orchestrate our lives.