A Change in Plans

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand. – Proverbs 19:21 NKJV.  

For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you (Paul’s plans for visiting Rome.). But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. – Romans 15:22-24 NKJV.  

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. – James 4:13-14 NKJV.  

Jamie and Fernanda Stern had the perfect wedding reception planned aboard the Majesty, which is a Boston Harbor Cruises vessel. Jamie Stern described what happened to their perfect wedding reception, Suddenly a big noise, everything stopped. The music was playing and next thing you know, there were life jackets, little kids crying.” The boat had run aground. What was to have been the perfect three hour wedding reception, turned into a seven hour ordeal, with the wedding party having to be transferred off of the grounded boat. Several agencies worked together with five boats to transfer the passengers. Jamie Stern had this to say about their ruined wedding reception, “We’re going to love each other no matter what, my girl is still here.” His wife, Fernanda said, “It made it more memorable.” (Mailonline 05.29.16)  

Plans often have to be changed because of unforeseen situations that arise. In 2010, while I was pastor of Sweetwater’s First Baptist Church, we had a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the church. Many former members and pastors were invited to be present and to speak at the event. The planning for this event involved many meetings over several months. It was carefully planned to have a catered lunch using a well-known caterer.  

Around 11:00 A.M. we received a call from the caterer asking for further directions to the church. It was learned that the caterer had gone to Stillwater, Oklahoma instead of Sweetwater, Oklahoma. Stillwater is more than 200 miles away and more than a three hour drive. The bad news was that the caterer could not arrive in time for the lunch. Other plans were made, which involved my wife and two other church members driving rapidly to Elk City, 30 miles away, to buy food from restaurants and a grocery store. The good news was that a former pastor was preaching and he preached for more than an hour. I have never been so thankful for such a long sermon! It was enough time for the group that had traveled to gather food to return, and have things ready for the lunch. Many of the people who attended the celebration likely never knew that there had been a change in plans. For those of us who knew what had occurred; it made it an unforgettable event, in which we experienced the moving of God’s hand upon us. 

The apostle Paul had to change his plans for visiting Rome as he was “much hindered” from making that trip. Paul also planned to preach the word in Asia (Acts 16), instead God called them to go to Macedonia. As James says, we do not know what will happen tomorrow, we do not even know what will occur during the rest of this day. One thing, however, we can be sure of is this, “the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.” If our plans are changed it is not the end of the world. Seek wisdom from the Lord as to how to proceed. God may have an even better plan in mind for you.

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