Life Plans

But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:19-21 ESV). I have found that my expectations are far different than reality. Most “life plans” are no more than expectations. Creating life plans is big business these days. You can hire a Life Coach (Life Guru, Life Master, Life Sensei, whatever it’s called), and they will then help you construct a master life plan. The life plan will probably contain a grand life mission statement, which makes you sound pretty awesome; one-year goals, five-years goals, and life goals; specific areas of focus in your life; and, a specific trajectory for your life. Most likely, this will include a specific job, a specific level of income, a specific geographic location, and perhaps a specific body mass index. And the reality is, even if you don’t have a formal, written life plan, you have a life plan in your head. We all do. You have an imagined future in your head. I don’t have a formally stated life plan, but I don’t want to waste my life either. Plans are not the enemy. In fact, they can be wise.  I’m all for planning. Without plans, little of enduring value gets accomplished. But the reality is, there are many times when God intentionally messes up my life plan. And that’s a really good thing. God really messed up Joseph’s life plan. His brothers threw him into a dry well, then sold him into slavery. The wife of his Egyptian master tried to seduce him. When he refused her advances, she turned him over to the Egyptian cops, who then tossed him in prison. He spent years in prison, waiting to be released. I don’t imagine that Joseph included prison time in his life plan. Finally, after many years of painful waiting, God exalted him to the second in command in all of Egypt. When all was said and done, what did Joseph say to his brothers? “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (vv. 19-20). God messed up Joseph’s life plan, and it was a really good thing. He did for Joseph what Joseph could never have done for himself. So, when your reality looks far messier than your plans, thank God; and, remember He’s got this! Even when it seems no good can come from your circumstance, His undeniable and unalterable guarantee is to work it together for our good. Trust...

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