Do you ever look at your life and wonder how you got where you are?  Do you ever compare your life to your friends’ or neighbors’ lives?  Do you ever wonder if you’ll ever reach those goals that you set for yourself or realize the dreams that you have?

Me too.

I’m a planner by nature … and by habit … and by profession.  I like to know where I am, where I’m going and what’s going to happen.  You can call it being in control or you can call it being a control freak.  I’m not one who rebels against changes, but they should all be within the boundaries of MY plan. 

Do you know anyone like that?  Are you like that?  Fortunately for me (and those around me) I’m learning to not be “that” extreme anymore. I used to think that I could plan out my whole life and live it accordingly.  Oftentimes, my plans unraveled and I would find myself wondering …

  • Why did my plans go wrong? 
  • Did I make a wrong turn somewhere that led me down this road? 
  • Are my dreams not going to be realized?
  • Why me?!

According to Proverbs 16:9 (often quoted by “non-planners”), “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

I not only “planned” my course in my heart, but also in my mind, body, spirit, on paper and on my calendar!  By the time that I graduated from college, I had my whole life laid out before my eyes.  One thing that I didn’t “plan” on being at this point in my schedule was SINGLE! 

For many of us, our “plans” haven’t worked out exactly according to our calendars and PDAs.  For many of us, it’s a constant adjustment to what we had “thought” or “planned.”  For many of us, something happened that was totally out of our control.

So, how have you reacted?

Complain?  Question?  Curse?

Job didn’t “plan” on losing his family, his wealth, and his livelihood.  He didn’t plan on being raided, having fireballs fall from the sky killing his livestock, having a tornado hit his family’s house killing his sons and daughters, and being inflicted with boils.  He reacted to his situation as many of us probably would have (or do each day when the “unexpected” happens).

  • “I am disgusted with my life.  Let me complain freely.  I will speak in the bitterness of my soul” (Job 10:1).
  • “Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands, while sending joy and prosperity to the wicked? (Job 10:3).
  • “Cursed be the day of my birth, and cursed be the night when I was conceived” (Job 3:3).

Job’s wife, who was in the midst of the same suffering, said, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity?  Curse God and die” (Job 2:9).

If there was anyone who felt as if he had control over his plans and future, it would have been Job.  Here was a man who, according to most standards, was a success.  He had a large family, wealth beyond what any of us could imagine, and his health.  Beyond that the Lord said, “He is the finest man in all the earth—a man of complete integrity.  He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil” (Job 1:8).  In other words, he “had it all.” 

“But they do not know the Lord’s thoughts or understand his plan” (Micah 4:12).

At one time or another in everyone’s life, we all face disappointment and plans that don’t meet our expectations.  If you ever think that you’re the only person on earth that has had their plans and dreams shattered, it only takes one episode of auditions from American Idol to confirm that “you are not alone.”