Don’t answer too quickly. Of course we all know the “right” answer. We all know that God’s plan is better than our plan and that His ways are higher than ours, yadda yadda yadda. We know the right answer in our head, but let’s be honest – it’s not always easy to believe it, is it?
What happens when your plans get changed against your wishes? When the thing you planned for doesn’t happen the way you want it to or in the timing you need? What happens when your "perfect plan" is turned upside down against your wishes and the only one to blame is God? What then?
Over the years I’ve realized that for whatever reason, many people aren’t convinced that God’s plans are better than their own. Why should I pursue something (God’s will) when I’m not convinced that it is in my best interests?
I wish I could say that God’s plan will always makes sense, but it doesn't.
I wish I could say that God’s plan will always makes us feel good, but it doesn’t do that either.
I wish I could say that God’s plan will always make our lives easier and more comfortable, but I am quite certain I can’t say that.
But what I can say is this: God's plan may not be EASIER, but it will always be BETTER.
Look back at the very first Christmas – when Jesus was born. One of my favorite characters in the Christmas story is someone who usually doesn’t get much attention – Joseph the carpenter. He’s the forgotten man in the story, but not by God. God hand-picked him to be the guardian of His Son Jesus and the caretaker of His mother, the Virgin Mary.
“Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)
Surely this wasn’t in Joseph’s plan. By this point, Joseph was an old man – probably well into his 70s or 80s. He wasn’t getting married because he was “in love” with Virgin Mary – who was no older than a teenager at the time; he was getting married because he needed someone to take care of him in his old age. That was how things worked back then.
The point is this: he had a plan for how we wanted to spend the final years of his life and it didn’t include this. It didn’t include delivering a baby in a manger. It didn’t include changing diapers that weren’t his own. And it certainly didn’t include a two year trip to Egypt to escape the wrath of a crazy king who wanted to kill his baby.
"THIS WASN’T PART OF THE PLAN GOD!"
And in one fell swoop, his plans were destroyed. The Angel appeared, delivered God’s plan to him and just like that, everything changed. No more easy life. No more comfortable future. No more ordinary family. From that moment, his life was never the same.
Was it easier? NO WAY!
Was it better? NO DOUBT!
As a Good Father, God doesn’t just have “plans” for your life, He has dreams! Big dreams! Extraordinary dreams! Super-sized dreams that would make your head spin if you ever had the ability to comprehend them.
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Too many Christians believe that God’s plan for their life is just pain, misery and hardship. Those might be parts of the plan, but rest assured that those are just steps along the path to God’s glory in your life. As a child of God, He has big dreams for you – extraordinary plans for your life, filled with His glory and His riches – all waiting for those who give themselves over to Him.
But be careful: God’s blessing doesn’t usually come wrapped in a nice package. It comes in the shape of a challenge of faith – something you didn’t plan for but you have to trust Him to get you through.
Don’t fall for the trap of thinking that your plan is the best plan or the only one that can satisfy. Our Father knows best [just like we tell our kids right?]. We need to trust Him no matter what His plan may be.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11