Since mid-March I’ve had many of my plans interrupted. Some of this has been quite disappointing. Among other changes, we had to cancel a family trip to Luray Caverns I was looking forward to.
I know I’m not alone. Field trips, graduation ceremonies, weddings, vacations, and many things we were looking forward to have been canceled or postponed. A giant question mark, if not a big red X, has been stamped over our summer plans. How should we think about these changes?
First, this is a vivid reminder that we should always say “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15). If you like to plan ahead like me, the current uncertainty is frustrating. But the reality is our plans have always been tentative. We’ve never really been in control of our calendars.
Second, let’s learn (again) to trust God’s plans for us:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD,
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Significantly, Jeremiah wrote those words to the Jewish exiles in Babylon only after dashing their dreams of an early return. The prophets who said they’d be going home soon were telling lies (Jeremiah 29:8-9).
Like the exiles, we want a quick end to our suffering. We want this pandemic to end, and we don’t understand what God is doing. But in our confusion or pain, we can cling to His promise that He knows the plans He has for us. And we can trust Him because He didn’t spare His own Son but gave him up for us all (Romans 8:32).
Third, trusting God’s plans doesn’t mean we shouldn’t grieve over suffering around us. Remember that Jesus wept when he saw Lazarus’ tomb (John 11:35). We too should “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15), especially with those most deeply impacted by this pandemic.
So as we look at our calendars, perhaps with a bit of frustration, let’s resolve again to trust God’s plans for us. To see past our disappointment, or even heartache, to our God who has given us His Son, and therefore every reason to trust Him.
Pastor Steve Brown