“Our plans are not always God’s plans. He may see that it is best for us and for His cause to refuse our very best intentions, as He did in the case of David. But of one thing we may be assured, He will bless and use in the advancement of His cause those who sincerely devote themselves and all they have to His glory. If He sees it best not to grant their desires He will counterbalance the refusal by giving them tokens of His love and entrusting to them another service.” The Ministry of Healing, p 473
When I graduated school I had grand designs for myself. I thought I was qualified and well-positioned. I thought that God could really use someone like myself in important positions to make an impact in positive directions. I pictured in my mind other young leaders that were able to make large impacts in their fields. Those plans are not the reality that has played out to this point.
David had the best intentions. He was the king, he had significant financial resources, and it seemed odd to him that he lived in a luxurious cedar-lined palace while the place of God’s presence was a tent. It was clear to him that something needed to be done and that he was in a position to do it. He called a prophet to ask his opinion, and though the prophet initially was in favor of it, ultimately the message to David was that God approved of the plan, but that he was not the man to do it.
What do we do when our best plans are not realized, and God doesn’t seem to be answering our prays for a particular path in life? Rather, the path we are called to walk seems rather rocky, and not what we had expected or wanted.
Proverbs 19:21 – There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel–that will stand.
One of the greatest benefits of being a Christian is that God is working in our lives for our best interest. That best interest often does not include the simple A to B plan that we had anticipated. But whatever our present circumstances, God will bless us in our current situation, and use us as His workers. He knows the position in life where we can be the most useful, and He will make sure that we will have a useful life.
We can pray that God will lead us. We can set plans and try to achieve them. We can learn the lesson of contentment in our current place. Ultimately, if we stay faithful to God, He will work out the best path for us, and redeem our unpleasant situation for good.
When we can’t see the way, and our path is rocky, we can trust that God loves us and is specifically interested in our lives.