28 Apr Now what?
I’m certain I’m not the only one who started 2020 with a clear vision board, loaded with goals and plans. Having learnt from failed resolutions in previous years, I made sure to be prayerful in making my plans. I submitted my plans to God so I had his approval and so I was absolutely certain that they would succeed.
So you can imagine my shock and frustration when everything literally came to a standstill. There I was staring at my daily planner with a major event I was organizing two weeks away, listening to my president declare a state of disaster as the pandemic hit our shores. One question resounded in my mind as I thought of my vision board: ‘Now what?’
I was sure everyone was as uncertain as I was, so I turned to the one ‘person’ who remains certain in times of uncertainty. I turned to the Bible to learn how God handled his plans being interrupted. As much as God’s plan can not be thwarted (prevented from being accomplished) as Job teaches us in Job 42:2, our disobedience can interfere with it.
I studied how God responded to having his plan interrupted by looking at the story of Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3), the prophecy of the potter at his wheel (Jeremiah 18) and Jonah’s story (Jonah 1). The first thing I picked up is that God doesn’t change nor abandon his plan when it’s interrupted. He didn’t destroy Adam and Eve when their disobedience resulted in disturbing the plan he had for humanity, nor did the potter (who represents God) discard the clay when it marred in his hands. God had ordered Jonah to go to Nineveh because his plan was to save the city. When Jonah chose to go to Tarshish instead, God didn’t give up on his plan to save Nineveh.
Instead of letting go of his plans when they are disrupted, God finds a way to rescue them. Instead of destroying Adam and Eve, he covers them (verse 21) and begins the redemption plan that will culminate in Jesus coming to die for our sins so that man can live the life God had purposed us to live from the very beginning (see John 10:10). God rescues his plan for the pot by returning to wheel with the very same piece of clay, shaping it anew as he sees fit.
My favourite is how he rescues his plan for Nineveh’s salvation. He doesn’t let Jonah go off easy when he offramps to Tarshish, but he pursues him. He doesn’t change his plan to align with where Jonah prefers to go but instead, he follows him to win him back to his purpose.
In each of these cases, it takes God longer to get his plan to be accomplished, but time doesn’t deter him. He is determined to finish what he started, even if that means the hundreds of years between Genesis and Matthew.
What does all of this mean for our 2020 plans? It means we don’t stop, we re-adjust. We don’t abort the mission, we redeem it. It might take us longer to achieve our goals, but achieve them we will.
If you are certain that your plans align with God’s will and that you are pure in your intentions, don’t let go of your plans for this year. Don’t lose heart, trust God to bounce you back up from this setback with Godspeed.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” Hebrews 10:35
A struggling adult (where’s the reset button???), part-time student, and natural hair fanatic. My life is dedicated to edifying Christ’s bride and assisting brides and grooms with their earthly marriages. In my spare time, I enjoy reading anything by Francine Rivers, lazying around with my two sisters and parents, or penning down (well, typing out) my thoughts on my blog Thoughts and Other Things.