August 8, 2021 • By Ed Wrather
There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand. – Proverbs 19:21 NKJV.
For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you (Paul’s plans for visiting Rome.). But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. – Romans 15:22-24 NKJV.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. – James 4:13-14 NKJV.
Friday afternoon I had just finished preparing the evening sermon for Sunday and was nearly finished with a bulletin insert when I received a text message. The text was from my Director of Missions of our local association of churches. It was a notification that the speaker at our pastor’s conference that week had tested positive for covid that morning. It had been a small group around some tables, and I had also visited individually with the speaker that day.
My plans for Sunday had just been disrupted. My wife and I and our son have all had the moderna vaccinations. However, from what we are now hearing it is possible even for those who have been vaccinated to contract the virus and to spread it to others even when asymptomatic. Out of an abundance of caution which has been my mode of operation since the pandemic began, I realized that my plans would have to be changed.
One of our deacons had been working on his first sermon and I asked him to preach that message Sunday morning and a retired pastor that is now a member of our church to preach Sunday evening. I know that God has changed all of our plans and I am looking forward to seeing what God is going to do through all of it!
We can look at disrupted plans as being a disaster, or we can see them as having the potential to be opportunities for God to do something even better. The apostle Paul says that his plans of visiting Rome were hindered. I like what Warren Wiersbe says about this: “The vast area of opportunity in other parts of the empire kept Paul from visiting Rome sooner. He was not hindered from going to Rome by satanic opposition or physical obstacles, but by the challenge of completing his work right where he was.”
March 12, 1812 was a horrific day for the work of missionary William Carey as a fire destroyed years of his translation work and materials for that work in India. Carey’s response was to review the blessings that God had given the ministry there and to thank God for all God had done. Carey was able to duplicate all of the work that had been burned and used it as an opportunity to improve upon what he had done before. What a great example for us all to follow!
Have your plans been disrupted? Thank God for all the blessings God has poured into your life and then look to see what God has for you now. It may be a terrible awful day, but God has the power to see you through it and to even bring good out of it just as it says in Romans 8:28. If you are “the called according to His purpose” and “love God” that is what God will do. Let Him!