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“Plan ‘B’ is Often God’s ‘A'”:

We’ve heard all our lives, “God has a plan for everyone of us.”  I believe that and for a very good reason –  the Bible says so!  If God truly has a plan for each one of us, why is life so difficult?  Doesn’t it make sense to wonder, that after receiving Christ as Savior and He’s truly in control of all things, desiring what’s best for us, why is life so complicated?  Buckle your seat belts and settle back as I give you my thoughts.  First, I agree it would be good – maybe great, if all we had to do was make a wish and the Lord would respond with, “Your wish is my command!”  There are several things to consider.  Most importantly, it’s wise to remember we are very imperfect people living in a “Fallen” (sinful) world.  There are many voices and various type influences that often put us on paths leading to places we shouldn’t go or be at.

 

Perhaps the most dangerous enemy keeping us from finding God’s plan for our life or that which keeps us from it, is ourselves!  At our best, we continue to be selfish even though we try not to be.  I’ll never forget the night I was filling out applications to college.  There were four schools I was interested in with my biggest desire wondering where I might be able to play baseball or football at.  I was “religious” (went to church every Sunday morning and night), but I was not a Christian.  Shortly after high school graduation I became a Christian and started college of choice that Fall.  I had a plan!  My desire was to play college ball, but after graduation coach football and/or especially basketball in high school.  That had been my dream for years.  Because of a couple complicated injuries I was unable to play baseball my first two years of school.  Talk about disappointment!!!!

 

Even though I wasn’t playing, I stayed around the athletes and learned a lot from the coach who I thought knew more about baseball than everyone else I knew put together.  My dream of coaching and teaching (in that order actually) was still alive.  With situations far to long to explain, let me just say, in time, I learned that I WANTED SOMETHING SO BADLY that I convinced myself it was God’s will!!  Maybe this is why I say our biggest enemy or obstacle in finding God’s will is selfishness.  We know what we want and that’s what we want.  Right?  We want certain things and will do about anything to make it happen.  I know I did – BUT – are you familiar with the verse, “God can close a door and no man can open it?”  I was so set in my ways and following my dream, I actually spent way too much time trying to open doors the Lord had closed.  Filled with confusion, disappointment and maybe some anger, I finally said, “Lord, I give up – I’ll do whatever it is you want me to do.  What is it?”

 

Immediately (in my mind) He took me back to the room in Flint Osteopathic Hospital following the football season of Junior year in high school.  Following surgery the doctor said, “Gerry, we had to take part of your hip out and most of the muscle around it.  We’re sorry, but you’ll never play ball again.   In fact, we aren’t sure you’ll even be able to walk.”  Keep in mind, I wasn’t a Christian at this point, but I’d been in church enough to hear about a loving and healing God.  Alone in the room, with tears pouring out of my eyes, I prayed, “Lord, if You will heal me and let me go back and join this year’s basketball team, I’ll do whatever you want me to do.”  The expected 6 month stay in the hospital was reduced to 5 days.  This was late November and I rejoined the basketball team January 1st.  When I said, “God, what do you want me to do?”  His response was, “You said you’d do anything if I healed you.  I want YOU!! Prepare and serve me full time.”  That was my call to preach and I’ve tried to do my best at it for over 51 year now.  I know this is long, but here’s my point.  On the outside looking in, one might say I didn’t really do what I wanted to do.  That wasn’t the “A” plan you had for your life.  My point is, WE OFTEN MAKE God take us through stuff in order to get us where He wants us to be.  What we may think is plan “B” is really God’s “A” plan.  Maybe this will help someone struggling with what to do with their future.  Save yourself time and anguish – just say, “Here I am God!  I’m ready to pursue whatever path you want me to travel.”

 

Pastor Carnes