Proverbs 19:21 – There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel — that will stand. (NKJV)
Years ago, my grandfather had a small lodge in an old farmhouse beside a lake just north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. One summer when I was about nine years old, I was visiting him at the lodge, and one evening he said, "Let's go fishing tomorrow first thing in the morning and take along some raw bacon, because everyone is telling me that the big fish are really biting on it lately." I immediately had a vision about catching one of those big ones.
So the next morning, we got up at daybreak. Grandpa, my dog Brownie, and I rowed out to the centre of the lake and threw in the anchor. But before we could bait our hooks, Grandpa started roaring, doubled over with laughter, to the point where I thought that he might fall overboard. He said, "Look behind you," hardly able to get the words out. I did, and there was my beloved dog licking her chops with last slice of bacon. I could have strangled that dog! Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day fishing for sunfish off the dock.
In our lives, we all have great expectations and dreams of things to do, but they don't always pan out. Sometimes we launch out to fulfill our ambitions and find ourselves getting in over our head in difficulties.
One evening later in life, I was sharing my business woes with the wife of one of our church elders. She quoted the following Scripture to me:
Proverbs 16:9 – A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (NKJV)
I sort of got the message she was attempting to convey, but it wasn't until after closing the failing business and eventually going on to something more in line with God's purpose for my life, that I realized why my efforts had dissolved: it wasn't the Lord's plan!
Just like my boyhood fishing experience, sometimes the bait we put out just gets eaten by circumstances beyond our control. But that's when we should seek a better path: God's.
Prayer: Father God, may we always be reminded that You have in mind the best for us, and that we need to check our motives and plans with You before setting out on our adventures. O God, thank You for being patient and longsuffering with us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.