Why don’t things always go as planned?

It’s a good question to ask, and especially if you are a Christian. Like, aren’t we now God’s children and everything for us should go to plan? I wish!

A little over a year ago, Sue and I headed off on our annual leave, similar to what we are about to do now – starting tomorrow actually. And the first thought that enters my mind today isn’t: Woohoo – holidays! Rather, it is a little fear and trepidation, because last year our holidays didn’t end up going to plan at all, and we even prayed heaps about it beforehand, let alone each day.

Last holidays, Sue had a fall and broke her ankle in Echidna Chasm in the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu National Park, WA), and so camping with a roof top tent in the bush proved to be a challenge and a half. And then, when we got back from holidays, I, pretty much immediately, got sick with Influenza B (which for me, proved worse than when I once had dengue). Yes, we head off on our annual holidays tomorrow with a little trepidation.

But why don’t things always go as planned? I think it’s simply because we live in a broken, fallen world – out of sync with God – and so bad stuff does happen. And the main difference between those of us who are now his children, through faith in Christ, is that we get to enjoy his presence at all times (Matthew 28:20) – including when unplanned things happen – and also that he uses unplanned things for our good (Romans 8:28). And as he is powerful and sovereign, rather than weak and hamstrung, he allows and at times even orchestrates, such unplanned things for our good, as he is much more interested in conforming us to the image of his Son, Jesus (Romans 8:29), than keeping us wrapped up in cotton wool. I even found that our Lord used very unplanned things in my life to bring me to him in the first place; maybe you did too.

And although I probably am not aware of everything the Lord was doing through our unplanned incidents last year, I am aware of two things: he helped me to be more caring for my wife and he helped me to rest in him. And so, I have grown (become more like Jesus) through those relatively minor events.

Yes, I would like this holiday to go more to plan, but I also know it might not, and that’s ok, because he is always with us and shaping us for our good.




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September 13, 2020