I opened the refrigerator to survey the contents before heading to the grocery store this afternoon. We needed milk, cheese, orange juice, and a few more of the usual items. I also took note of what was in the fridge that needed to be eaten up—like the other half of that avocado and those green beans waiting to be roasted, steamed, or sauteed. I actually love green beans and had gotten them for a specific meal I planned but never got around to cooking. Does this happen to anyone else? I buy ingredients with every intention of making dinner, but plans change. Maybe something came up or maybe I was just tired by the end of the day. If I’m being honest, it’s much more likely that I was just tired. We’re often on Plan B for dinner these days. In fact, we’re often on Plan B for life these days and I know we are not alone. Almost everyone I talked to after the holidays told me they ended up making adjustments to their original plans due to Covid, and we did too.
It can be really hard when we have our heart set on gathering with loved ones and it doesn’t happen. Sometimes it’s just disappointing and difficult; surely God will teach us something through it, but at the time we can’t see it yet. Other times, however, God has used these Plan B situations to create sweet moments and lasting memories that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Holding our plans loosely has always been a good idea, but never has it been more obvious than during a pandemic. In talking with some friends recently, we all agreed God was teaching us during this season that He should always come first before our plans. Over the years I have found this much easier in the big things. After all, I don’t want to accept the job or buy the house if the God of the universe thinks it’s a bad idea. But what about the little things? What about the everyday things? I may have many things planned for my day, but I’m learning that listening for God’s voice throughout my day needs to be my first priority. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” Proverbs 19:21 (ESV). That might look like pausing for a moment to ask God or recognizing His providence as my day unfolds, but either way, I can rest in the sweet assurance that His plans for me are good…even when I again had every intention of cooking that dinner, but sat down to write a blog instead.
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.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)