Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
Right about now, the sports world would be engrossed in the NBA playoffs. Tennis fans would be preparing for the French Open, while the baseball season would be in full swing. Yet, the world of sport has been silent, as countless games have been canceled due to COVID-19. All of the plans for the summer Olympics in Tokyo has had to be changed. Star Athletes have had to take pay cuts as many sports teams struggle with a shortage of revenue because of social distancing.
At the same time, most schools have had to cancel their graduation plans. Many high school proms were canceled or had to be done virtually. Some people had to cancel their vacation plans forcing hotels and cruise lines to furlough thousands of employees. Numerous churches had to cancel conferences, hiring plans, as well as expansion plans.
No one could have foreseen the level of disruption COVID-19 would cause. Yet, for the last three months, most people have been forced to change their plans. Indeed, the pandemic has caused significant disruption in every aspect of life. It has forced us all to rethink our definition of “normal.”
In today’s text, we are reminded that many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Every human decision is conditional on God’s permissive will. We must humble ourselves before the Lord so that he can bless us by his unfailing grace. Whether we know it or not, God’s purpose will always prevail over the plans of our hearts.
The vicissitudes of life always restrict our plans. Any plans that are devoid of divine input can be disrupted. The good news is that God only disrupts our plans so his perfect will for our lives can be established. Any change of plans by God will work for the good of those who trust him.
When God disrupts our plans, we have to do three critical things. First, wait patiently for him to reveal the plans he has for us. Remember, our plans cannot prevail over the Lord’s purpose. At times, it may take time for God to undo the damage we’ve done through our plans for his purpose to prevail.
Second, we have to trust in his faithfulness. From the moment we exit out of our mother’s womb, God has remained a faithful friend, provider, healer, and redeemer. He has never treated us as our sins deserve. God is faithful in his love, grace, and mercy. Therefore, when he disrupts our plans, we have to trust that it is for the better.
Third, we have to surrender to his purpose. Whenever I am struggling to understand why God disrupts my plans, I remind myself of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God’s plans for us are better than our own. What we call disruption may well be redemption. That is, God redeems or releases us from a major blunder.
We must not forget that God orders the steps of those who serve him. He also knows that the human heart is deceitful above all things. Therefore, the plans conceived in our hearts are existentially wicked and may be harmful to others. Thanks be to God that it is his purpose which prevails. When I look back at some of the plans I had throughout my adult life, I am thankful to God that they did not succeed. Therefore, I yield to the purpose of Almighty God, because I know that is what is best for me.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, may your plans for the world in this season of pandemic prevail over the personal whims of individuals or government entities.