Whose Plan Is It?

January 18, 2017
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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.

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About the author:

Cassandra Wessel <casswessel@ymail.com>
Tionesta, Pennsylvania, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great reminder Cass. God bless.

    I sure know what you are talking about!

    What an inspiring meditation. My thanks.

    Well done as usual. We all love the Amish, right?

    Good word today Cassandra, so very true!

    How true. A planned trip to volunteer in our church archives was foiled by freezing rain today. It’s a comfort to Christians that God is in charge.

    Great message. Thanks so much. I think I’ll remember your picture of being stuck behind a horse and buggy!! I seem to have lived my whole life ‘in a hurry’. So now it seems that I can’t quite keep up my life’s pace!
    It may be some deficiency, or just an aging body, but either way, I’m reduced to waiting!!! for my energy to pick up. This story helps a lot!

    Dear Cassandra,
    So typical of the child to bring in the birthday. And so good that God kept the story on track when: “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.”
    Amazing how God uses circumstances and gives us more than we can ask or think.
    Thanks for the devotional.
    Keep writing.

    Good and meaningful devotional Cassandra!
    My bible version of the scripture you used reads “a man plans in his heart but the Lord directs his path.”
    This was a eye opening scripture given to me when I had to close down a business. It wasn’t God’s perfect will for me as I discovered later.
    Anytime I get all exited about a PROJECT, I’m careful to check it out with the Lord first through prayer.
    Thanks and God bless,

    Dear Casandra,
    Glory be to God and thank you for this mornings devotion which has been an eye opener to many of my questions when things go wrong.
    I pray that all our writers who are doing a great job will be mightily blessed as they work on the daily devotion. God Bless and have a fruitful day full of showers of blessings and insight from the Almighty God.
    (Kenya, East Africa)

    Good morning Cass! What a perfect devotional this morning. Thank you for writing it!
    Your devotional doesn’t just appeal to me theologically, it also rings very true in my own life. As a bonus, the images you conjure up are a lot of fun. A couple of weeks ago during our children’s time, the children were asked what gifts they could give to God – hoping for answers like “our love”, “worship”, “praise”, and so on. One little girl shouted out “underwear”! The woman leading the service – who is a parent and has been a school teacher – handled it with easy grace and the whole episode was funny and wonderful.
    I hope you have a great day.

    Cass, your message is so true. It’s good to be reminded.

    Hi Cassandra,
    Thank you for your devotional.

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