When God Has Other Plans

Jana Carlson

Jana Carlson

Things don't always go the way I had planned. Chaos and affliction seem to take over and despair seems more natural than faith. What can I know for certain?

It wasn’t my intention to lose momentum so soon after starting Wield The Word. But we never intend to lose anything, do we?

God’s Plans Are Not Mine

Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Later in Proverbs (19:21), we are told that, “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

The older I get, the more I’m realizing the need to hold things with an open hand, to surrender my plans to the One whose “ways are higher than [my] ways and [His] thoughts than [my] thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

The last several years in our family have been filled with plans of the Lord that looked so very different from our own. There have been many sudden and unexpected changes in circumstance, from serious illness to job losses and many things in between. We have been to more funerals in the last three years than we have collectively attended in our entire lives. We certainly hadn’t planned for those! There has been a great deal of affliction, grief, and turmoil.

Someday I will share in more detail what we have lived through. Today is not that day. I need to be farther along on the other side of this valley before I am confident in my ability to accurately describe the work of the Lord in the midst of it all.

His Plans Are For A Purpose

And He has been at work.

I recently read a quote that struck me as a glimmer of hope for me, personally.

“Authors don’t always choose their books. Their path, and more often their pain, do the picking.” (Beth Moore)

I firmly believe that God has been guiding us through this tempestuous storm to teach us and equip us and prepare us for another call on our lives at a later date, in a coming season… He is birthing in me more to write.

It is all ultimately for His glory.

His Purpose & Plan Will Prevail

2 Corinthians 1:4 reminds me that He “comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

That gives me so much hope! It even excites me! I am anticipating that day with restless eagerness, longing for my mourning to be turned to dancing (Psalm 30:11) – not only my own, but those around me, those He has called me to minister to. What a day that will be!

In the meantime, I am “going with the flow”. I am learning about God’s grace, His strength and power in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

In this season of unpredictability, when my time is not my own and I cannot really expect to give the attention to this blog that I desire to give, this quote inspires me:

“I think I find most help in trying to look on all the interruptions and hindrances to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one’s work. Then one can feel that perhaps one’s true work – one’s work for God – consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one’s day. It is not a waste of time, as one is tempted to think, it is the most important part of the work of the day – the part one can best offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work; trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it.” (Annie Keary)

What Do You Know?

When we are overcome by uncertainty, it is easy to succumb to despair. A dear friend taught me that one way to avoid that is to ask, “What do I know for sure?

I know that God is doing a work. (John 5:17)

I know that He is in control. (Psalm 22:28; 1 Chronicles 29:11-12)

I know that He has a greater plan than any of my own. (Jeremiah 29:11; Isaiah 55:8-9)

I know that He will fulfill His purpose in my life. (Romans 8:28; Isaiah 14:24)

I must keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the One I can count on no matter what, the One I know for certain will not fail, the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

On Topic

You Might Also Enjoy...


Silence: More Precious Than Gold

Mental clutter is a malady of the modern age. Could silence be the cure? Is silence really golden? God’s Word regards it as something worth fighting for.