The following phrase caught the attention of a reader of a daily newspaper this week: “When man makes plans, God laughs!”  How many plans have I made that are thwarted?  A line from the poem “To a Mouse”, penned by Robert Burns, is often quoted by many referring to thwarted plans: “The best laid schemes of mice and men go oft awry, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy!”

I recall the lines of an old chorus which hold a searching question:

In the multitude of your plans, ‘Where am I?’, says the Lord. In the multitude of your plans, ‘Where am I?’

For your plans are not complete, ’til surrendered at My feet.  In the multitude of your plans, where am I?”

When we make our plans, it behoves us to hold them loosely, as unto the Lord. The phrase “God willing”, should be earnestly attatched to any plans we devise, leaving room for God to make a divine interruption for His purposes.  We serve an inconvenient God, in the sense that certain plans never reach fulfilment in our timing, sometimes never at all, but also delay is not necessarily denial.  Timing is also important in God’s greater plan.  If we have settled it that God is sovereign in our lives, we bow our limited understanding before the interruption He has permitted to our plans. The pain of disappointment continues as long as I hold on tightly to the negative emotions resulting from the aborted plan.  When I lay them at the feet of Jesus in surrender, I can experience the peace of His presence to carry me through the change of circumstance.  This is where I prove God is, who He says He is.  His promises stand sure.  He never changes through an ever changing world.  “My presence shall go with you…” Exodus 33:14.    ……I will never leave you, nor forsake you.  So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do to me……..Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever”, Hebrews 13: 5-8.

Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”,  Matthew 5:8.   Heart purity is seeing God, finding God, in all things!  The hymn writer and preacher, Cleland McAfee (1866 – 1944), penned the hymn: There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.  This hymn was born out of tragic circumstances after he had suffered the loss of two nieces to diptheria in 1903.  God is there in the mix of joy and sorrow, pain or pleasure in our lives.  He waits for us to acknowledge Him, walk with Him, include Him in everything.  Sadly He is too often forgotten or excluded when we need Him most.  Our human reasoning and learnt behaviour patterns too often have pre-eminence, instead of the Lord.

God is waiting for us to prove Him.  Our “ever present Help in times of trouble” also waits for us to respond to His ever present challenge: “…..Prove me now……” says the Lord, (Malachi 3:10).

God’s thoughts and plans for us exceed anything we propose to organise.  Isaiah 55: 8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts”.

Jeremiah 29: 11 describes God’s thoughts towards us: “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end”.

Meditating on this scripture should overwhelm the smallness of our minds, compared to the greatness of our God: Psalm 139: 17-18 “How precious also are Your thoughts unto me, O God!  How great are the sum of them!  If I should count them, THEY ARE MORE IN NUMBER THAN THE SAND.  When I awake, I am still with You”.

Let us go forward this day in the certainty of who God, our loving Father is, confident that whatever befalls us, He will faithfully enable us to accomplish the agenda for the day, or find Him in any divine interruption.  Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”.  The work that God gives pre-eminence to in our lives is conforming each of us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 4: 13-16), and He will use EVERY circumstance in our lives to that end, His divine purpose for every one of His children.  Remember:  There is no waste in the economy of God.  Let us see our circumstances through God’s perspective and allow Him to perform His work in us, “bringing many sons to glory”.

A line from the Amen hymn challenges :“What is that which harms thee if thou sayest Amen, every grave a cradle of fresh bliss again….”  We say “Amen” to God, not to the situation.

Never surrender the sense, or awareness, of His presence, to a situation!  Allow Him to do His work……in you!


Photo by Mubariz-mehdizad   jpg