My Way and God's Plans

"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps..." - Proverbs 16:9

If you are at all like me then you like to plan, to know what's coming next and see things through to the end. However, things don't always turn out that way. Take last night at the Huff house as an example. I headed to bed with my workout bag packed for some pre-work exercise, the coffee timer set for 7am, and my heart set on the way it would be in the morning, my way. At 1am our youngest woke up with a stomach ache which turned into other yucky things at around 2:30am. In the middle of that my wife graciously offered to stay up with her so I could get some rest in the guest room. An hour later our oldest woke up with nightmares which kept her awake until 4:30ish. Needless to say, the 7am coffee got pushed to 7:30, the workout didn't happen, and everyone ended their time in bed feeling more tired than when it began.

My way was obviously not God's plan for the morning. But, looking back, I have to say it was better. I will always cherish the unexpected snuggle time with my daughters, the early morning talks with our healthy middle child, and seeing my precious family resting in bed after a tough night. God's plans are always better than the ones I come up with.

Proverbs 19:21 says it this way: "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Combine that with the numerous promises of God working towards our good in all things and you have a foundation for peace in any circumstance. Our plans may look good on the surface, and we may feel disappointed or downright crushed when things veer off course, but it is always for the better.

At the moment I have about a half-dozen family and friends trying to sell their home, a process my wife and I have been through almost annually since our wedding day. Each family has a plan and desire for how the process will go, but each time a potential buyer falls through or an offer isn't right just points to a better plan in the future. In the midst of the plan falling through it is hard to see this, but it remains true nonetheless. We have our plans, but God is the one who establishes where our steps will actually fall. He will make our footsteps firm. In a way it should be exciting when our plans go awry because it means God has something even better in store for us.

Now, before you label me an unrealistic optimist, I have to confess that I really struggle with this concept. I hate changing plans. Just ask my wife. When the plans for the day don't meet my expectations it usually puts me in funk that only time can heal. Would I have chosen to have a sleepless night rather than a productive morning? Would I have rather had our last house sell in 1 month rather than the 6 it actually took? Would I rather have my extended family living closer and my father-in-law here with me rather than in heaven? Honestly, I don't know. Those were my plans and I'll never know what could have been. What I do know is that no matter what happens, no matter which way I take, the way I end up going is the way God has already planned from eternity past, and it is better than any other way I could have taken.

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