We often assume that we know what is best for us better than anybody else--that we know what we want; and what we need. And therefore, we make plans and set goals to acquire those things that make us happy.
But sometimes, even when we have made all the right moves and taken appropriate steps, those plans often do not come to fruition—or just as they are about to materialise, they crumble.
Then begins the blame game – we either blame ourselves or God for not intervening in the situation on our behalf. After all, He is God: He can do everything He wants. ‘So why did He leave me out to dry? Doesn’t He care about my happiness? Did I do something wrong? If not, then WHY?’
If you are one of those people, here’s something I’d like you to ponder on: There’s a saying that goes: “Man makes plans, and God laughs.”
When I first heard of this adage, I was outraged. You probably are too as you’re reading this. It somehow implies that God derives pleasure in watching us make plans, work hard to achieve them and then fail miserably. But as time went on, it all started to make sense and I started thinking that perhaps God does laugh at us from time to time. And if He doesn’t, maybe – just maybe—He should!
He should laugh at our silliness, He should mock our pretence and this absurd assumption that we know what is best for us.
The good news is that God promised to give us what we need, not what we want. Not everything you want is good for you or is what you need. Not everything you want is in God’s plan for your life.
“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
God has great plans for you. It may not feel like it in light of your failure or when you’ve suffered a setback but He truly does. “So what should I do?” you may.
First, make sure your plans don’t defy the Bible. What do your projects entail? Do they involve compromising your beliefs? Are they deals that you feel uneasy or uncomfortable with as a Christian? Are your plans ethical?
Secondly, ask yourself if your plans have God’s approval. What does God tell you about your projects? Is it really what God wants you to do? If so, keep at it. If not, turn to Him and look for answers. I know this may come as a shock to many of you, but God speaks to us every time. We just don’t always take the time to listen. The Holy Spirit communicates to us in different and various ways – through physical signs, other people, His Word (the Bible), etc. The most common way He talks to us is via this urgent prompting, this feeling deep inside our spirit that pushes us to take a step of faith and do His will.
Thirdly, allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Don’t start out by making plans for your life by keeping God out of it. Talk to God first; make room for Him in all your decisions. Better yet, don’t even bother planning; pray and ask God to show you the way. Ask him to reveal to you the purpose for which you were created and show you the plans He has for you. Follow Him and do His will; He will never leave your side when you do so.
“What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13).
Humble yourself by acknowledging that you don’t necessarily know everything, let alone what’s best for you. He does, and trust him when He says, the best is yet to come.