“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope.”
– Jeremiah 29:11
Every coach goes into competition with a firm game plan in place. Through countless hours of film study, we have a good idea of an opponent’s tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. Practice sessions are structured to help players recognize these tendencies and to prepare for the expected. However, as anyone who follows sport knows, rarely do things go the way we plan or expect. In football, we have fumbles and interceptions. In basketball, we see bad passes go out of bounds and missed free throws. In baseball, errors are often the difference between winning and losing. And who hasn’t played a round of golf and hit one in the woods or sand trap? It’s not how we respond to the expected that challenges us, but how we deal with the unexpected. Sports and life are all about making adjustments and moving forward.
Jeremiah gives us some sound coaching advice. God promises that He has plans for us. It’s interesting that God says plans, not plan. This would imply that He not only has a plan, but at least one backup. Could it be that God has a Plan A, but when we mess up, He also has a Plan B? Could God even have a Plan X, Y, and Z if needed? I would suspect that most of us are not living the Plan A God intended. Some of us are much farther down the alphabet than we would prefer. That can be depressing and it’s easy to convince ourselves that we have failed God too many times. Facing the unexpected can be scary and even paralyzing. Jeremiah assures us that God not only has His plans, but that those plans give us hope and a future. No matter if it’s Plan A or Plan Z, God does not give up on us. God has more than one way to get there, we just have to keep doing our part. Never doubt that He is working to fulfill those plans.
Father, You are the God of the unexpected! You parted the Red Sea; You changed Saul’s heart on the road to Damascus; and You brought a Savior into the world as a baby. Thank You for Your promise of hope and a future through Your plans. Thank You for not giving up on me. Amen.