The older you become, the more likely it is that one phone call will radically change your life. Bad news has a way of stealing joy as well as altering any plans that you have previous made. Just before Christmas, my wife’s mom was rushed to the hospital. In the week’s that have followed, there have been ups and downs, resulting in a series of trips to Chicago to see her mother. In the end, everyone will pass, but preparing for the inevitable is like riding a roller coaster in the dark.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps, Proverbs 16:9.
In moments like these, the wisdom of Solomon shines light on what’s truly important. Sure, developing goals are helpful to create a five or ten year plan for prosperity. Yet, beyond a man’s or woman’s heart, the Lord will throw an occasional curve ball to keep you off balance. Subsequently, if your steps aren’t in alignment with God’s calling, a detour will likely be coming, drawing you back to where you need to be. Whether that’s taking care of an ailing parent or pursuing a promotion to keep get your children through college, only time will time. Yet, for now life is like a wheel of fortune, around and around it goes, where it stops nobody but God knows.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them, Ephesians 2:10.
So what do you do when life get’s in the way of your plans? First, praying can serve as a vehicle for healing as well as a source of comfort. Second, seek counsel from those who have already gone through a similar situation. This provides prospective as well as the ability to avoid making the same mistakes as your predecessor. Finally, cling to the promises of the Bible, memorizing these passages to instill in you hope that God is not finished using and working through you. May the Holy Spirit guide your steps the next time life get’s in the way of your plans.
by Jay Mankus