Plan “B”?  What about “Plan D”?

quote-on-plan-bAngst, I know what that feels like. Much of what I had hoped for in my future was wiped away when my wife went to Heaven. Thirty years ago I was full of certainty about so many things. Today I am glad simply to be alive to experience another day. I say that with a smile, not bitterly, not cynically. The illusion of being ‘in control’ has been blown away by developments in my life that were, to me, a complete surprise.  The last decade has brought me to places that I could not have even imagined. But, I trust God in the unforeseen circumstances of life because there is a foundation of faith that His Word and my experiences have put in place.

People talk about falling back to plan ‘B’ when plan ‘A’ does not work out. What about a plan ‘C’ or ‘D’?  I know what it is to be tempted to wonder if God has abandoned me. God has allowed me, in several different trials, to live like a man feeling his way in the dark.  In frustration I ask myself, “Is He angry with me beyond restoration?  Will life ever make sense?” But, the Word and past experience has taught me that plan “B” can be a gift of precious value.

I have known many times when what appeared to be a terrible failure, an awful mistake, or a grievous rejection actually was a severe mercy that saved me from myself!  In 1987, I went through a time when I had to leave a thriving ministry for a much smaller place. Some saw that as an ‘exile,’ a just reward for some decisions I made that were unwise. By standards of earthly success that reassignment that looked like a step backward. But, time proved that God was, in reality, providing me with a blessing. Hindsight has revealed how God used that time to heal my marriage, to let me to become a real Dad who spent time with his children, and, most valuable of all – a time when I explored the meaning of grace and learned to drink deeply from that cup.

He showed Himself faithful to me, even when I was faithless towards Him. I came to love that place seeing it not as the exile it once seemed, but as His sovereign plan for my good, a rich and wonderful place of greater blessings!

In Genesis we read the story of Joseph. As a teenager, God gave him visions of a glorious future which he unwisely shared with his jealous older brothers. When they had the chance, they sold him into slavery and he ended up far from home in Egypt. There he was falsely accused by his master’s wife of making sexual advances and ended up in prison.  Friends he made in that place were released and promptly forgot their promises to help him.  Years later, when God had made him the Prime Minister, second only to the Pharaoh, the brothers who had sold him appeared in the throne room seeking aid, not knowing that the “Egyptian” sitting before them was their brother. But, Joseph had learned that God’s plan “B” is not regrettable. He did not seek revenge. He told those brothers something amazing that he had learned: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.” (Genesis 50:20, NIV)

Will we learn of God’s love and live in radical faith?
Robert Burns, the 18th century Scottish poet, wrote of the poor mouse whose nest was torn up by the farmer’s plow.
“The best laid schemes
o’ mice and men
Gang aft a-gley, (go oft awry)
And leaves us naught but grief and pain
For promised joy.”

 Are you struggling with more questions than answers today?
Did the road of life you thought you were traveling disappear in the storms of life?
Wait on Him to reveal His purposes.

Here’s a word from the Word. I pray these will be words of life for us today.
“Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you. …
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. …” (Psalm 37:2-7, NLT)

________

Never Once
(Listen to this amazing song.
It moves me deeply ever time I hear it)

Standing on this mountaintop,
Looking just how far we’ve come,
Knowing that for ev’ry step You were with us.
Kneeling on this battleground,
Seeing just how much You’ve done,
Knowing ev’ry victory was Your pow’r in us.

 Scars and struggles on the way,
But with joy our hearts can say,
Yes, our hearts can say-

 “Never once did we ever walk alone!
Never once did You leave us on our own!
You are faithful, God, You are faithful.”

 Scars and struggles on the way,
But with joy our hearts can say,
“Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace,
Held within Your perfect peace,
Never once no we never walk alone.”

 Never once did we ever walk alone!
Never once did You leave us on our own!
You are faithful, God, You are faithful.
Ev’ry step we are breathing in Your grace,
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise,
You are faithful, God, You are faithful.

 Jason Ingram | Matt Redman | Tim Wanstall
© 2011 Chrysalis Music Ltd. (Admin. by BMG Chrysalis US) CCLI License # 810055

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