What About Me?

My wife and I just passed our three year anniversary of moving to Lowell, Indiana. We’ve loved every minute of it. I often think about the path that brought us here. We had been living in Illinois and decided it was time to downsize and move out of the state. So, we put our house on the market and as luck would have it, sold our home more quickly than we had anticipated. We hadn’t done much house shopping but we had a plan. We found a house in Beecher that we could rent month to month while we looked for our next house. A little more than two weeks before we had to be out of our house, I got a call that the house we were planning to rent was sold. That left us exactly 11 days to find a place to live. I checked with property management companies and found that none offered short term or month to month leases. We became homeless (kind of). We wound up taking up residence in my niece and her husband’s basement. We had a plan but it didn’t work out the way we expected. Honestly, if I go back about 10 years before, to when we moved into that house in Illinois, we had a five year plan. Get the kids through HS, fix up the house and move out in five years. What we didn’t plan on was the housing market going bust. We had a plan…
As I look back on those situations, I can’t help but think of a quote I heard; “Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.” And really, these incidents are very much a microcosm of what my life has been. See over the years I’ve made plans and very often those plans have been derailed, they haven’t gone at all the way I had mapped them out. So how about you? When you think back, can you identify a time in your life when you had a plan but that plan became sidetracked, took a detour? Maybe you can relate to me. Maybe you too feel like so many of the plans you’ve made have veered off in one direction or another. Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t plan. On the contrary, planning is good. The Scriptures encourage it. Proverbs tells us that “The plans of the diligent surely lead to abundance.” It’s good to make plans but there are three points I would like us to remember about the plans we make.
First and foremost, it’s God’s plan. So often we have this narcissistic notion that this world revolves around us. We think that this life is all about us. News flash: It’s not! This is God’s story. It starts out “In the beginning God…” The story of the world from creation to the absolute end is all about God. He makes it pretty clear in Isaiah 46; “…for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” It’s God’s plan.
Secondly, it’s the best plan. Friends, God loves us with a love we can’t understand and He has promised to provide and care for us. Listen to what He says in Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Isaiah 43 tells us, “Fear not, for I am with you” And Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you” These are incredible promises that include God’s best for us. So how do we reconcile the things that happen in this world, when we have plans and those plans get derailed by seemingly disastrous events? I think about Job and the losses he endured when all his family and possessions were taken from him. I can guarantee that wasn’t part of Job’s plan. But I love his response, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job had faith in God’s plan. Most of the problem with us is that we think we know what’s best. We think we know better than God. We make God small and we become God. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel qualified to be God. His plan is the best plan.
Lastly, it’s our salvation plan. That’s what God’s ultimate plan for each one of us is. He is the one who created us for His glory and sent His Son to pay the price for our sins, a price that we could never pay. He did that so we can be with Him in eternity. Jesus says it so beautifully in John 3:16 when He says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” I love that but He goes on in verses 17 and 18 and says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” That’s it… that’s the Gospel! That’s God’s plan for each one of us! It’s God’s plan, it’s the best plan and it’s our salvation plan. So we will continue to make our plans, plans for our lives, where we will live, what we do for work, all the decisions we have to make. But I hope we will have a little different perspective on our plans from now on and I want to leave you with a passage from James 4:13-15, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” See friends, we can make plans, but we are never guaranteed those plans. It’s all about God’s plan.
~ Andrew Wahlstrom is a speaker, a member of the Hope Church Steering Team, regular contributor on Hope Church’s blog and is active in getting our sound, projection and lighting systems here at Hope Community Church.

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