Often God's planning remains unseen. We see the circumstances but not everything that has taken place beforehand and rarely do we stop to think about it. Last night in Gospel Group we were studying Nehemiah 1 and one verse particularly stood out for me "I was cupbearer to the king." This verse follows Nehemiah's prayer, grief and fasting for the state of God's people and God's place. There is lots to challenge us in Nehemiah 1 from Nehemiah's concern for God's glory, to his care for God's people, his devotion, his big view of God, his drawing down and praying through the covenant promises of God.
But I found that little line tucked away at the end of chapter 1 to be the most encouraging. God has been at work sovereignly to place Nehemiah in just the position from where he can be influential in rebuilding his kingdom. And all of it was unseen until that moment. It reminds me of the bleak destitution of 1 Kings 16 before in 1 Kings 17 and seemingly from no where Elijah appears fully formed as God's prophet. God is sovereignly at work working out the details and his plans and purposes. That doesn't remove the need for us to work, pray and plan but it does liberate us from the tension and the stress.