Tag : plan
Tag : plan
Are you a planner? Because of a busy schedule, I make lists so I don’t forget anything, but what do we do when things don’t go as planned,—and it’s not our fault?
We record radio shows once a month and do interviews on Zoom. However, yesterday, our second interview was a no-show. His book was great. The topic was engaging, and I thought our audience would be drawn in. So I stared at the computer screen for about a half hour—waiting in anticipation—and contacted both him and his publicist, but he was unreachable. I held out hope that we would eventually get the interview recorded yesterday because it was already produced, but it did not happen. I was very disappointed.
When things don’t go according to the plan, how should we react?
As difficult as it may seem, we need to hold on loosely to our plans. If we put God in the center of day, there is a good reason why a scenario did not work out. James 4:14–16 says, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
When a project does not come to fruition, it forces us to reevaluate the original plan. We have to move back to center and give it to the Lord all over again. We also have to let go of the idea if it was never meant to be.
I am still hoping there was a good reason why our guest was unable to fulfill his commitment and that he or his publicist will eventually get back to me. If not, I have to trust that the interview was not a part of God’s plan and there will be someone God chooses to replace him.
What about you? When life does not go according to plan, will you trust God with the directional change?
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21, ESV).
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (Genesis 50:20, NIV).
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you were being persecuted and then realized, in hindsight, that it was a blessing? I have, and still experience these moments today.
One instance occurred in 2016; my dad was very ill and thinking it was going to be his last Christmas, I booked a flight to visit him in Montreal from December 22nd to December 29th. At the time I was the General Manager of a restaurant, and for the previous five years, always took that week of Christmas off because it was a slow week. After booking the flight, I informed my boss, and for the first time in five years, she declined my request. She said it was not fair to the other managers that I always took that week off—she approved the week before or the week after—but not the week of Christmas. I was disappointed since it never had been an issue. She knew my immediate family lived in Canada and I visited them once a year during the holidays. Nevertheless, I called the airline company to change the flight and was pleasantly surprised when the person on the line waived the change fee because she heard I was visiting my ill dad. I ended up flying into Canada the night of December 15th and went straight to the hospital. I spent the night with my dad, letting my mom go home and get some rest. The next morning at 8 a.m., my dad took his last breath. At that moment I realized how God uses every circumstance, good or bad, to bless us. If my “mean” boss had allowed me my usual vacation, I would never have spent that last night with my dad.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 34, NIV).
God knows what is best for us even when we don’t. The Bible promises us He will give us the desires of our hearts when we take delight in Him. We must trust Him while praising and worshipping Him daily. At first, I was upset with my boss when she told me I couldn’t visit my family at Christmas, but I immediately trusted that God would work things out. In doing so, and not fighting back, I was able to spend the last night on earth with my dad and fed him his favorite thing to eat, ice cream, before he went to be with His Father in heaven. What a blessing it turned out to be. What the enemy meant for evil, God uses for good!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28, NIV).
Planning can be tedious. Paying attention to details can be time consuming. Sometimes we wonder if the end result will really be worth all the time spent working on the blueprint. As I trudge through the book of Leviticus in my daily Bible reading, I am wading through a lot of rules and regulations about how to live. In the case of the priests like Aaron and his sons, before they could enter the tabernacle, they had to wear a specially designed robe with a linen apron or ephod over it, as well as a turban and a breastpiece with beautiful semi-precious stones representing the tribes of Israel. Their dress had to be perfect before the priests could make offerings for the Israelites.
After days of planning, building the tabernacle exactly as God commanded, and designing the priests’ garments, the day finally came. Aaron and his sons put on their beautifully sewn vestments, they entered the Holy Place and made atonement for the Israelites’ sins.
Then all the days of planning and hard work paid off when the presence of the LORD filled that place. “Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown” (Leviticus 9:23–24, NIV).
I started to weep while reading this passage because it hit home. As I continue my doctoral studies, I often ask God to show me what all this advanced schooling is about. Why do I have to study statistics, LORD? How are you going to use it? How will You be glorified through what I am learning?
What I am understanding, however, is that God will often give us a plan to carry out, but He won’t always tell us why we have to do it. He sees the future—we don’t—so that’s where faith and trust come in.
What about you? Are you getting frustrated with all the planning and hard work on a project, but you are still waiting for the “why?” If it’s of God, then just know He will bless your efforts and will one day show you His glory.