Plan B Living

January 9, 2011

“Plan B” living is what happens when things don’t go as planned. By that definition most all of us are “Plan B” people living “Plan B” lives.

Same for most all of the hero’s of the Bible.  Their stories are stories of what happened after what they thought was going to happen didn’t happen.

Joseph (the son of Jacob) lived a Plan B life.  His Plan A was working on his father’s ranch.  Plan B was running the largest country in the world at the time.

Moses lived a Plan B life.  His Plan A was living the comfortable, privileged pampered life of an Egyptian prince. Plan B was wondering the desert for 40 years.

David was a Plan B person.  His Plan A was a dead end job working for his father’s small business in a backwater town.  Plan B, he was king.

Mary and Joseph were Plan B people.  So were all the apostles.  

Peter was a Plan B person.  After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension Peter is a man with a plan, and he believes it is God’s plan for his life.  His plan is to grow the Church of Christ, which he is pastor of, by preaching the Gospel in Jerusalem and to the Jewish community. And, his plan was working out really, really well.  The Church in Jerusalem was exploding with growth at this point and Peter enjoyed something like rock-star status at this point. Things couldn’t have been going any better.

But then God catches his attention, in a really dramatic way, and introduces him to Plan B. Peter learns that God has a vision for the Church to break out of its parochial constraints in Jerusalem, and become a world-wide church, as Peter himself explains to his astonished friends:

In truth I see that God shows no partiality,
rather in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly
is acceptable to him.
Acts 10.34-35

That seems like an obvious point to us but it was news to Peter.He had to put aside his plan and take up the one God had for him, which totally changed his life because eventually he left Jerusalem and went to Rome.

We’re not going to always understand why what is happening happens to us or why God didn’t intervene or work the way we wanted him to. But we can be sure of this: God has a plan for our lives. The Bible says:

“I know well the plans I have for you,” says the Lord,
“plans for you to prosper and not to harm you, 
to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29.11

Oftentimes when we’re feeling frustrated with our own failing plans, God wants to get our attention, to direct us toward the better plan that he has in mind for us.

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