“We make plans, and God laughs…”
Ouch. Those words are harsh. These words bring shame and disconnect from the Father in ways I hope the original author of these words did not intend. They give implication that the “we” of believers are incapable of coming up with a plan that is in line with the Father’s will. AND it implies that when we as believers come up with our bonehead of a plan that God mocks our efforts. Praise be to Him that we are able to know His character better than to take this platitude to heart!
Most believers nowadays don’t hear God in an audible voice - I know I don’t. But in scripture and prayer, we are able to “hear” His voice, and we know Him, as is described in John 10:27 [My sheep hear My voice; I know them and they follow Me.] We know his voice is calm, not rushed. His voice is loving, not shaming; convicting, not guilting.
But even with scripture by our side and prayer in our back pocket, sometimes we still get it wrong. And in the moments we do get it wrong, the Father does not LAUGH at us, He draws us to Himself.
When I was in college, I was a Music and Worship major - a hybrid of a music and religion degree. I had intentions to finish my degree and become a worship pastor. I truly felt the Lord leading me in this direction; prayers were answered, many doors opened, things “lined up”. I excelled in my music, as well as my religion coursework. I had meetings lined up and mentors encouraging me. I was so excited. THIS was going to be it!
As my boyfriend (now husband) and I became engaged, I had some lash back from more conservative believers, asking, “How can you lead a church and still have your husband lead your in your family???” They were often rude to me, questioning me and my role in our future family. I was offended. David is wonderful man, strong in the Lord and leader of our household, and would have been completely capable of leading me as a pastor and our future family. I was not one that “longed for that of her husband” in that moment, and I was fine with him being ‘the guy’.
But through prayer, reflection, conversation after conversation, I wavered. I questioned God’s call on my life and whether He wanted me in leadership. And at this time, He was silent. I was calling out multiple times a day for guidance, and was met with silence. I scoured the scriptures, and found arguments for both sides. I reached out for Godly counsel, and didn’t receive anything other than “I’ll be praying for you”.
So, I backed out. I looked at all the classes I had taken up to that point, and I found a major that required the least amount of specialized classes so I could still graduate on time. I felt guilty, shamed, and stupid for wasting time and money on a partial degree that I wasn’t even sure how God felt.
BUT HE DID NOT LAUGH. He drew me into Himself, cradling me with His real opinion of me. My future was unknown, but He was understanding. I was scared and unsure, He gave me peace to take on the challenge of starting over in a new field. And, as it turns out, the degree I acquired was able to bring me to where I am now.
Many other things in my life have changed after I have prayed and sought the Lord, thinking I knew what He wanted. That is why our relationship with the Lord is a journey - He wants us to learn from the pitstops and scenery changes. But NEVER have I been met with anything other than STEADFAST, LOVING KINDNESS.