Bible in a Year:
Deuteronomy 17–19; Mark 13:1–20
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
Are you kidding me? I was already late. But the road sign ahead instructed me to adjust my expectations: “Expect Delays,” it announced. Traffic was slowing down.
I had to laugh: I expect things to work on my ideal timeline; I don’t expect road construction.
On a spiritual level, few of us plan for crises that slow us down or reroute our lives. Yet, if I think about it, I can recall many times when circumstances redirected me—in big ways and small. Delays happen.
Solomon never saw a sign that said, “Expect Delays.” But in Proverbs 16, he does contrast our plans with God’s providential guidance. The Message paraphrases verse 1 as follows: “Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.” Solomon restates that idea in verse 9, where he adds that even though we “plan [our] course . . . the Lord establishes [our] steps.” In other words, we have ideas about what’s supposed to happen, but sometimes God has another path for us.
How do I lose track of this spiritual truth? I make my plans, sometimes forgetting to ask Him what His plans are. I get frustrated when interruptions interfere.
But in place of that worrying, we could, as Solomon teaches, grow in simply trusting that God guides us, step-by-step, as we prayerfully seek Him, await His leading, and—yes—allow Him to continually redirect us.