Man Plans, God Laughs – Proverbs 16

Proverbs 16 

I’m a list maker. I love to sit down with a cup of hot coffee and make a list of things I need to do for the day. My lists keep me organized, and I get a small feeling of accomplishment as I cross off each task. One Friday night I sat down with my trusted pad of paper and pen, and eagerly wrote down all of the things I planned to get done over the weekend. And as I went to sleep that night with the thoughts of all I wanted to tackle, I awoke to a son with a migraine, a dog having stomach issues, an unexpected early morning visitor, and a complete change in the plans I had so carefully laid out. Hence the quote Man plans, and God laughs.

We all make plans for our lives. Some of our plans work out better then we could have hoped, while others leave us shaking our heads wondering what in the world we were thinking. We make short-term plans such as what clothes to wear or where to go for dinner, and long term plans like where we will live or when we will retire from our job. And although we can try our best to see that our plans will come to fruition, God always has the final say as to what is the right and best plan for our lives.

It isn’t that the plans we make for ourselves are necessarily wrong, it’s that God’s are always better.  Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.”  Instead of going it alone, we need to give our plans to God and pray for Him to guide us, and to give us wisdom to proceed with them. We need to trust in Him knowing that He only wants the very best for us. For me it paints a picture of when my son comes to me excited over the latest and greatest plan he’s come up with and wants  to know my thoughts. I use the wisdom that comes from age and experience to guide him, and he can trust that the advice I give comes from a loving parent trying to save him from heartache and pain.

I remember as a young girl sitting and giggling with my friends as we talked about who we were going to marry, what he would look like, and how many children we would have. We had the best time innocently planning our futures. What we didn’t know was that so many things would be out of our control.  Unexpected events would happen. Problems would occur and without understanding the reason why, plans would need to be changed. James 4 :14 reminds us that, “…you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” Only God knows for sure what will happen in the future, and we can can trust that He is in complete control and nothing happens outside of His will.

So I will continue to make my lists and when things don’t go according to plan, I’m ok with that.  It just means that God had something different in mind for me. I trust in Him and believe His promise of Romans 8:28 which tells me that, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” And as Proverbs 16:20 says, “Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”

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