Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hast Thou Not Known"1 (Lyrics)
Proverbs 16:9 – In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. (NIV)
I had to laugh when saw this Facebook meme the other night, because it's so true: "My entire life can be summed up in one sentence … 'Well that didn't go as planned.'" For sure, everything that we plan doesn't always work out the way that we wanted. We plan a special event, only to find ourselves snowed in. We plan to attend a party, but then, the temperatures plummet and the car battery dies. We plan a shopping trip to buy a new dress or shirt, but the unexpected expense of that new car battery cancels it. We plan to leave early for work or church, only to find ourselves stuck in traffic, or in my case, behind an Amish buggy plodding along at three miles an hour. We must slow down until the obstacle removes itself, then we can try to make up for lost time. That doesn't always go as we planned either, especially if a policeman pulls us over and asks us, "What's the big rush?"
Despite all our planning, sometimes, we need to make an adjustment because our plans go haywire. We find ourselves muttering, "Well, that didn't go as planned."
The wise writer of today's verse from the book of Proverbs knew this, as does everyone who has ever written a lesson plan or a children's sermon. Throw children into the mix and anything can happen. The little ones will say something totally off the wall. Some years ago, that happened one solemn Sunday in Lent. I asked the children what special day it was. One boy waved his hand wildly and piped up, "I know! I know! We're having a birthday party!"
Not exactly the sombre image that I wanted to use, but it led me to talk about how Lent helps us to look forward to the joy of Easter, like the boy looked forward to his party.
Sometimes, when we are in the midst of haywire plans, the only thing that we can see is what seems to be going wrong. At those times, we need to trust God's heart, because His plan always works out for the best. While we all plan, God still determines our steps. That means that we need to trust God's heart and His plan.
Prayer: Father God, take our hand and walk with us through Your plan for our lives. Enable us to trust Your heart to plan what will work out for the best, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.