Murphy’s Law says, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” Robert Frost wrote: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” In the south, we say, “If the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise!” You get it, we make plans – big and small – and life happens. In high school, I planned to go to college, get married, be a journalist, and live happily ever after. Five years later I never made it to college, was working at a dead-end job, and going through a divorce. Not exactly what I had in mind. Perhaps you intended to get a big project finished at work yesterday, but an urgent task got tossed on your desk. Your computer crashes in the middle of a big paper. Your child makes a huge mistake, your parent has a fall, road construction sends you on a long detour. Something seems to always derail our plans. Flat tires, sick kids, an unexpected phone call, or the boss’s priorities can turn our day upside down. Divorce, cancer, layoffs, rebellious kids, and death can turn our lives upside down.
Aren’t you glad God is not subject to the winds of change and the whims of other people? Job testified, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:1). God is the perfect planner because He is sovereign; that is, He has absolute authority to determine what will happen and He has absolute power to pull it off. He also has the advantage of seeing “the bigger picture.” Like putting a puzzle together, He sees each piece as it fits into its place and becomes part of the whole. In fact, He is the one who designed the picture in the first place. In hard seasons I find comfort in knowing that God is never taken by surprise when life takes a turn. He has already determined how this hard thing will fit into the complete picture of my life and the lives of those I love.
I’m learning some big lessons about trusting God right now. I can’t go into details, but all is not right in my family and my heart is breaking. I’ve been blindsided and can’t do anything about it. But I am leaning on the truth that God was not caught off guard. He’s not sitting on His throne wringing His hands over the unexpected. Because nothing is unexpected to the One who rules over all. He’s got the whole world, and my little family, in His hands.