Monday, October 16, 2017

Plan A and Plan B

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

How long did it take to get from Egypt to Israel in Bible days? One such journey is etched on a temple pillar in Karnak. Around 1450 BC, Thutmose III led an army from Egypt (presumably its capital, Memphis) to Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley of Israel. It took him 10 days! Why would it take the Children of Israel 40 years to get there? 

Let’s set aside their sin for a moment and go back to the beginning of their Exodus. Simply said, God did not lead them the shorter, coastal route. Instead, He led them southerly, through the desert. 

Now to the eDevotion.

Life is filled with Plan B’s. A lot of our frustration continues because we keep trying to work out Plan A. Plan A is the “life will turn out the way I thought it would” plan; the “they lived happily ever after” plan. Plan A thinks of perfect marriages that never go south, jobs that never end, children that grow up without problems, climbing the corporate ladder an easy thing — where all your dreams come true.

Plan A rarely happens. In fact, I thinks it’s safe to say, it never happens. 

The Exodus of the Children of Israel is a prime example. God didn’t lead them by the shorter coastal route (the Via Mares - the Way of the Sea) to the Promised Land. Instead, He took them into the desert. Had they gone the coastal route, they would have come to the land of the Philistines in just a few days. Undoubtedly, they wouldn’t have been a very hospitable nation to deal with. What at first appeared to be a detour was actually a different plan for their benefit, Plan B. They didn’t handle it very well, but that’s another eDevotion for another day.

Our Plan B’s are the reality that your first career choice was a bust and it’s time to start over, that you won’t get that white house with a picket fence, that money doesn’t grow on trees, that you have a disease and your future is uncertain. It’s the plan where all your dreams don’t come true, at least, not as you expected them to.

He was a poor child, born in extreme poverty. He was self-taught. He started a business that failed. He ran for a political office and failed. He started another business that failed. At one point in his life, he had a nervous breakdown. He failed in five more attempts at being elected to a political office. He would eventually succeed, and in 1860, was elected the sixteenth President of the United States.   

Maybe your Plan A isn’t working. Don’t come undone. Plan A’s seldom, if ever, work out. Your success and happiness in life will largely be determined by how well you come to grips with Plan B. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Abraham Lincoln, the greatest Plan B President in American history.

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. Exodus 13.17-18

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