Man’s plans are often a roadmap to shattered dreams. Surely it is within our human nature to dream, to set goals and make plans. Following the conception of such ideas, we begin to give form and structure to our new “baby,”concentrating thought upon it and allocating resources of time, talent and treasure in the expectation of seeing this “baby” birthed. Such efforts may be noble and normal, yet it may be difficult to distinguish whether our goals are indeed noble and reflect the mind of God, or if they are rather “pedestrian” and reflective of our human wisdom and ingenuity. Even more risky and painful can be the “plans” we make for others, especially for our children. The often quoted “If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans,” does have a ring of truth to it, doesn’t it?
I want to share a perspective that I believe is difficult for most of us to grasp, but coming to grips with it can save us a lot of frustration, heartache and confusion in our understanding and thoughts about God. Ready? Because God is good, your life will not turn out like you planned.
Yes, you read that right. We must have as the bedrock of our faith the conviction that God wants for us the highest quality existence we can have. What that means, this “highest quality existence,” doesn’t necessarily always equate to our expectations, especially in the short run. Our ground view understanding of Romans 8:28“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” may fall short of comforting us as we would like and as the verse intends. We’ve all experienced the struggle to keep some sort of righteous focus on God when all hell seems to be breaking over us. We’d like to be more like Job except for the tragedies he suffered.
We must be aware that God is always at work in ways seen and unseen to conform us to the likeness of his Son. Because God is sovereign, he exercises ultimate supreme authority and control over every person, place and thing he has created. Nothing escapes his oversight, no matter how wonderful, minute or dreadful we perceive it to be. Underlying all of this is the truth we must hold firmly, and that is that God is good. We must trust that in times of duress even more so than we proclaim it when life appears perfect. The world around us yearns to see us express this. There is a mystery to how God expresses his goodness and it won’t always conform to our earthbound view or expectations. When pleasures will move us toward the kind of life God desires to build in us, that’s what he gives. When pain will move us toward it, that’s what he gives. Sometimes God hurts us. And the hurt is real. Following Christ well is harder than it looks and takes longer than expected.
As for our plans, we’d best hold them palms up. Wisdom instructs us to submit each “draft” to the Lord and listen for his comments. Some “drafts” for sure, will bear no fruit, be burned up and have no eternal significance. The precious plans, the ones crafted in concert with God, the ones submitted to God for refinement and adjustment, are ones that will endure. The Proverbs writer exhorts us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will tell you which path to take.” We won’t always get it right and there will be times of disappointment. But God’s grading scale, if you will, credits those who are earnestly seeking Him. Think About It.