by Calven Celliers
Have you ever set out to pursue something that was a goal or dream in your heart only to have it turn out to be completely different to what you thought it would be?
Yesterday morning I read a quote by Pastor Steven Furtick that dealt with just that –
“Don’t let your experience become the enemy of your expectation.”
As I read that I began contemplating the reality of expectations, and how creating expectations can open our hearts up to disappointment. How often do things in our lives go exactly as we planned?
Don’t get me wrong: planning is a good thing. It’s beneficial to be organized and to have certain things planned out, after all the failure to plan is a plan for failure. A wise person ponders and plans.
I guess the question I find myself wrestling with, however, is how do I react when things don’t pan out the way I’d hoped or planned? Do I get bent out of shape and let the disappointment crush my spirit?
And then these wise words of King Solomon in Proverbs 16 came to mind, “3Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3NIV)
What a comforting thought! How much happier we would be, how much lighter our burdens, if we would just commit all our ways to the Lord! We plot and plan, fret and worry, failing to be dependent upon God, forgetting that without His blessing, our plans will come to naught.
The apostle Paul was a man who often spoke of his plans to visit certain churches and wrote in his letters about the goals he wanted to achieve; but Scripture shows that although Paul made many good plans, not all those expectations were accomplished, for the Lord was the one that directed his path.
Sometimes the plans we make may be good and honourable, but God knows the end from the beginning and may take us to a different destination with a different expected outcome. But if we are living by faith and trusting His guidance, He will bring us to the place that He knows is best.
God not only knows the future, but holds the future in His hands. How wise, therefore, to use our rational thought and God-given free-will to plan wisely, to the best of our ability, while recognising that God may either permit our plan to move forward, or He may overrule it according to His divine will and purpose for our lives. What a comfort to know that while we have the freedom to make our plans, the Lord will ultimately direct our feet into the way that is best for us.
“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5 & 6NIV)