It happens almost every time. I plan one thing, but something unexpected happens and my plans are put on hold or changed in some way. I planned to get a lot done yesterday but a telephone call I received and a student who needed help changed my plans. I still got a lot done; it just wasn’t what I had planned. Has that ever happened to you – a vacation cut short by an emergency or a project at home costs more than you thought it would? It seems that very little goes exactly according to plan. The change to our plan may only be a minor inconvenience and hardly noticed, but sometimes the change can mean a change in the rest of our lives.
The truth is we are not in control. We can make plans and work toward our goals, but there is a great deal outside of our control. (The older I get the clearer that truth is to me.) As God says in the book of James, “You ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:15). The weather, for example, has probably caused many farmers in the area to change their plans – more than once. Sickness can be another plan changer – from chicken pox to life threatening cancer. I’m sure you have seen your own plans change for a variety of reasons.
Yet, it doesn’t matter how our own plans have been derailed because we have a God who promises, “For I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). God has a plan. God’s plan is never derailed or changed. He is in control.
But what are His plans? The hope and the future he has planned for believers is eternal life with him. When the other plans in your life change – the weather prevents you from doing work in the field, unexpected bills change your plans, or cancer has invaded your body – remember the plans God has for you.
God’s plans are certain and unchanging. They are based on the one for whom everything went according to plan – Jesus Christ. When Jesus was born, it was according to God’s plan. As Jesus lived on this earth, performed miracles, and taught his disciples, it was all according to God’s plan. Even when Jesus died on the cross and came back to life – that was God’s plan. It was all part of God’s plan to save us. We were the ones who deserved to be on that cross, but God had different plans for us.
So go ahead and make your plans. But do it with the confidence of a dear child of God and the trust that the master planner is working out the details.