“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’” declares the Lord.”  Isaiah 55:8

Every summer my work looks pretty much the same. As a university professor and part-time administrator my May means putting away the curriculum, reflecting on courses that went well (or not) and why, and assessing research of professors at my school.

By June I am in full swing with my own projects: writing, reading, preparing presentations and revising lectures. Each day I squirrel away in my office on the edge of campus overlooking a green space and a little lake. Picturesque. Quiet. Predictable.

But not last summer.

In November of 2013 a surgeon declared, “Your wife needs total jaw joint replacement and it will require living in Toronto for eight weeks.” Eight weeks? Toronto? But I have plans of my own here in British Columbia! At first I reeled because surgery may have been in January, March or September - terrible times for my school year. But then God gave the gift of a May surgery date, an ideal time for the two-month ordeal. And my boss blessed me, saying, “Go support your wife.”

I served my wife as nurse, cook, housekeeper, driver, pharmacist and trainer. I read little academically, and wrote even less. But when it was all done my wife and I were tight, blessed, on track. Articles and talks could wait; being Jesus to my best friend just fit.

So often we see changes to our plans as roadblocks not trailheads. Yet God has unexpected paths for us that still accomplish his purposes.  Do you have plans right now that seem to be going awry? Might the change be an opportunity to find God’s will to a different good place?

Dear God, so often I make plans that I believe square with yours, and then obstacles appear. Help me see your way amidst the challenges, and be my guide on the new path. Amen.

Take Action

Practise prayerful discernment in your decisions. Cheri Cowell's book Direction: Discernment for the Decisions of Your Life from Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City is a great place to start!