What plans have you had to change lately? I spend time almost every day deleting items from my calendar or rescheduling them. Restrictions and fears for our safety have caused the cancellation of meetings, conventions, vacations, and just about any plans that involve being in public. Graduation ceremonies are cancelled, weddings are postponed. Some fear the isolation will cause more mental health issues. We do not like the unknown. Some of us are better than others at adapting to change, but none of us can live indefinitely in a constant state of flux without it having a negative effect on us. We want to make plans and stick to them.
We’ve all experienced the disappointment of cancelled or changed plans at some point in our lives. At the time, it is often very difficult to understand why something is happening. We can be tempted to be angry with God for allowing difficult times in our lives. Navigating those times is certainly not in our plans. But we’re reminded in God’s Word that A person’s heart plans his way, but the Lord makes his steps secure (Proverbs 16:8 EHV). Our plans are often not God’s plan for us.
Looking back at our lives with the benefit of hindsight, many times we can see the path we chose was not the best way and the path God placed us on was much better for us. That’s not always the case, though. Sometimes we will never know the “why” when something happens. Instead of spending our time wondering why something happens, we are invited to trust our Lord: We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 EHV). Instead of thinking that God is punishing us, we remember God’s words: I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to give you peace, not disaster, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11 EHV).
Our peace and our future are not here on earth. Our peace comes by God’s grace through faith in our Savior, Jesus. Our future on earth will be filled with uncertain times. But our certain hope and future are with our God in Heaven, guaranteed by His Son, our Savior. And no power on earth can take that from us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, neither things present nor things to come, nor powerful forces, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39 EHV).
Rev. Paul Fries