by Laura MacCorkle
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV
Have you ever had your plans interrupted?
This can either make you cranky or make you grateful. In my case, it’s usually both. Cranky at first. And then eventually grateful after days, weeks, months or even years later when I finally see that God’s plans were so much better than mine.
Just last weekend, my plans were interrupted. I had been planning a day-cation for a while and was going to take my mom to visit my hometown’s “friendly” rival city that’s just a short drive away. We’d never before explored its downtown area and had heard great things about it. And so we thought it would be a fun place to visit on a Saturday.
But the plans had to be scrapped as a result of a minor family emergency. In this case, I was grateful that I could alter my course and help out. And I know it was the right thing to do to set aside these prior plans.
Other times in my life, I haven’t been so quick to be grateful when God has interrupted my plans. At the time, my plans seemed right and logical. But they were plans that, had they gone through, would have just been awful. In hindsight, I see how the Lord has saved me from myself time and time again and how he truly knows what is best for my life.
Before he was one of the greatest apostles in the Bible, Paul also had his plans interrupted. Now his plans would arguably have had more disastrous consequences than some of mine, but he believed he was doing the right thing and was set on seeing them through. That is, until God interrupted.
In Acts 9, Paul was still known as Saul. He was an enemy of believers (known as “the Way”) and was focused on persecuting anyone who called himself a Christian. He had heard that many had fled to Damascus, so he secured letters of arrest from the high priest and headed off in pursuit of them.
But on the road, God intervened and interrupted Saul’s plans. The conversion was radical and news-making. Saul was blind for three days, and then his sight was restored through Anaias, who God told that Saul was his “chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel (Acts 9:15).”
When the scales fell from Saul’s eyes, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Later, he became known as the apostle Paul and was perhaps the greatest of all Christian missionaries. He also wrote 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament!
Can you imagine what type of effect his conversion must have had on the believers he had been seeking to persecute? Or how about the Gentiles to whom he ministered for years afterward? And then who knows how many countless readers of God’s Word have been blessed by Paul’s testimony and his inspired writings?
These are God’s amazing plans at work, my friend. And thankfully, he interrupts ours.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
How did you respond the last time God interrupted your plans? Have you thanked him for saving you from your plans? We will never know this side of heaven all that God has done and is doing in our lives. Let’s thank him for his perfect plans for us today.