The Better Plan

It was the day after Christmas and we were heading out for one final holiday celebration. My husband asked if I had finished wrapping the gifts. I snapped at him and said, “No, but I shopped for them, purchased them and even put them in a bag for you so that YOU could finish wrapping them this morning!” Surprised by my outburst he asked, “Why are you treating me this way?” With tear filled eyes, I looked up and said, “I’m so sorry, I’m exhausted and utterly empty.”

Plan A

Rewind to the week after Thanksgiving. I had planned out four of the most glorious holiday weeks ever. The two younger boys were participating in a Dickens Caroling experience around the city; I had arranged for us to see Christmas lights by horse-drawn carriages; I had even planned a few Pinterest crafts for my grandson and a big family night complete with cookies, cocoa and decorating the Christmas tree. O WHAT FUN!  The plan was grand, but the plan would change.

During week one, some of our staff came down with the flu which meant I was needed at the shop instead of the craft store. No worries, I could adjust the plan and combine a few things the following week. Like the first week though, the second was met with more illness and absences. “No worries,” I said, “we can still do this.” By the third week I was waning in holiday cheer because after all, hadn’t I taken off most of December? My husband was now off to Minnesota on a business trip and my boys on an adventure in the Midwest. We were still understaffed and I was now overwhelmed.

By the time everyone returned to work it was the week before Christmas and my tune had changed from a cheerful, “Joy to the World” to a sarcastic, “The Boys Are Back in Town.”  Four weeks of holiday bliss had been reduced to four days and I was scrambling to pull off Christmas. No worries, right? Wrong!

Wrong because Christmas wasn’t mine to pull off, it was God’s and He accomplished it more than 2000 years ago.

Wrong because Plan A was not the plan. Plan B was; I just couldn’t see it even though it called out to me daily, “Helloooooo, this is the plan!”

Plan B

I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t until Christmas Eve that I saw Plan B for what it was, a blessing. The pastor spoke these words, “Sometimes in the midst of our busyness and frustrations, we tend to miss the blessings right in front of us.” 

BOOM! My deafened ears were opened at once. God had me exactly where I needed to be, assisting during a time of illness and absence.  Plan B was the blessing I had missed.

A “blessing” doesn’t always mean the circumstances are good, or that they will even change, it means that God will work them out and weave them together for eventual good. 

  • I could work when others could not, what a blessing!
  • My family was able to travel as planned, what a blessing!
  • Our staff made a full recovery from the flu, what a blessing!

Plan B is the blessing-God’s perfect plan, the one one where he takes our present circumstances and works them together for eventual good. I have a new appreciation for “Plan B” because it’s just the thing I need to adjust my perspective. It calls on me to Be Still, Believe, and Bow Down. 

BE STILL because He is God and I am not.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

BELIEVE that He is Lord over all our best laid plans.

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)

 BOW DOWN in order to submit to the plans God has made.

“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)

3 thoughts on “The Better Plan”

  1. Wonderful Reminder!

    Plan A: A desire to birth children every couple of years until we have a nice houseful of children.
    Plan B: Infertility for 13 years, three adoptions, and two births late in life.

    Plan A: A life with a body capable of doing whatever I desire to do.
    Plan B: A body riddled with rare medical conditions that limits my activity, and consumed our finances with medical bills.

    I LOVE planning, but, no doubt, a reminder that we need to be submissive to how our best laid plans can be re-routed by God’s sovereign plan for our lives that may lead us through a more challenging path full of blessings wrapped in trials.

    James 4:14-16 (KJV)

    “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
    For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
    But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.”

  2. Ditto!!!
    Only by the grace of God am I doing a little better at setting healthier boundaries for myself. I have so overloaded my plate at times in my life that I had to tell God, “sorry” but I couldn’t do what He wanted because my plate was full to the brim.” Then realized, the good things I chose to put in my schedule were my plans, not His.
    I also realized That “good” can become the arch enemy of “better”. It sure has been the case for me.

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