Even The Best Laid Plans

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A young preacher had taken some vacation time out of town and had the opportunity to worship at a church as a visitor rather than the preacher on Sunday. He was looking forward to hearing a preacher with more experience than himself to see if he could pick up some skills for his own use.

The older preacher did not disappoint. When he entered the pulpit that morning he appeared rather disorganized and offered an apology. He said that he had been so busy with visiting the sick, counseling and the like the previous week that he had no time left to prepare a sermon. After the apology he walked away from the microphone leaving the audience rather stunned. However, he returned after a short time and delivered a powerful sermon on “Being Unprepared To Meet God.” His “apology” was used only as an attention getter- -and boy did it work!

The young preacher was so inspired and impressed, he could hardly wait to get back home and use the same illustration on his congregation. Thus, when he got in the pulpit the next Sunday morning, he did his best to look unprepared and offered an apology using the same words as he had heard the week before. Unexpectedly though, as he started to walk away from the microphone there was a little old lady sitting near the rear of the auditorium that shouted, “Well, couldn’t you just read out of the Bible or something?” He was so thrown off balance, he could barely preach!

Life is a lot that way. To borrow some famous words: “Even the best-laid plans often go awry.” I know of no better case study of this truth than the story of Job. In his day, he earned the top award for righteous living over all the earth (1:8). Further, he regularly got up early to offer sacrifices for all his children (1:5). But even when he thought he had covered all the bases, you will recall that trouble still came (3:26).

It is not necessarily a defect in our plans when they do not come together; it is often the uncertainty of life (cf. James 4:13-15). There is only one plan in which we can place full confidence- - the Master’s Plan.