ANCHOR OF HOPE: What to do when God ruins your plan

Tim Braddock
Tim Braddock

“Plan: a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.”

Since moving to the Emerald Coast of Florida in 2003, there is a plan I have personally reviewed every year, and unfortunately had to enact several times. That is the “Hurricane Plan.” Below is an excerpt of the “Hurricane Plan” as published by The Weather Channel.

At least a 3-day and preferably a 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)

Non-perishable food

Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies

Manual can opener

First aid kit

Prescription and non-prescription medicines

Toiletries

Cell phones and battery-powered cell phone chargers

Battery-powered radios and flashlights

Plenty of batteries

Extra cash

Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if evacuating)

I am sure most individuals who live within the Emerald Coast can relate to reviewing and implementing this same plan. Some memories associated with this plan may be positive due to the fact there was a well executed plan, but some memories may be bad due to the fact there was minimal to no planning executed.

Have you ever worked diligently to ensure that something you had planned would work out just as you wanted it to, only to have the entire plan be ruined by someone or something? In John 21, the disciples were at a point in life where they were caught with a ruined plan. Jesus, their beloved leader, was no longer with them in the flesh. The One they had forsaken and sacrificed for had only made a brief appearance to them after His resurrection. Their hopes, dreams, and plans seem to have vanished when Christ vanished; thus, they did what they naturally knew to do, fish. In verse three of John 21, Peter says “I go a fishing.” Peter’s plan seemed to go back to that which he knew how to do and forsake the fact he had committed to be a disciple for Christ.

In verse four of the same chapter the disciples seem to be coming in to shore after a long night of fishing. It seems as if their plan to go fishing that night yielded them nothing. On there way in to shore some man (they do not know it is Jesus, yet) suggests that they cast their nets onto the right side of the boat. No doubt, they were wearied and tired from a long night of fishing, but these men proved to be real fisherman — always looking for that last throw of the net in an effort to make a great catch. At the command from the bystander on shore, the disciples threw their nets onto the right side of the boat. As they begin to pull in the nets they realize their nets are full of fish. So much so that scripture says the nets could not even contain the amount of fish. Immediately, John realized that the plan they had just followed was given to them by their loving leader, Jesus Christ.

In life we often give our best plans to God, and ask for his approval when all He wants is for us to trust the plan he already has for us. I am glad though, that when our faith may falter, begins to get weak, and our best formulated plans seem to crumble, He speaks a gentle command to us and with simple obedience from us He grants a blessing that is to big to contain. When God seems to ruin our plans, trust His.

Tim Braddock is pastor of Emerald Coast Baptist Church in Destin and can be reached at Tbraddock@emeraldcoastbc.com.