Plan B

Lately there has been a buzz about "the morning after pill," a quite positive buzz in the "pro-choice" community, and a very negative buzz in the pro-life community. This thing called Plan B. We Americans are big about our plans. We have Franklin-Covey stores in the mall. Wal-Marts have entire aisles devoted to dayplanners and all the various accessories. We like our plans. But lately I've been thinking: how tightly ought we hold onto our plans? How are "plans" viewed in the Bible? There are some things we know for certain:

1) God knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
2) Our ways are not His ways, neither are our thoughts His thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
3) Many people's "plans" in the Bible were intentionally disrupted/dismantled for God's glory. Some examples:

*What might Moses' plans have been? Exodus 3:21 implies that Moses would have likely lived out his days in Jethro's tents were it not for the encounter with God on the mountain... an encounter that took him back to confront his past

* Given her beauty and youth, Esther would have most likely been a Jewish bride for a Jewish man rather than a pagan King; a wholly undesirable marriage (from a Jewish perspective) was God's plan for her

* Job would have continued on with his happy life and large family without ever knowing the depths of sorrow were it not for the interruptions of death, destruction, loss, agony, and pain. And yet, those sorrows (and later restoration) were God's plans for him.

*Mary would have likely joyfully married her groom and not have known she was missing out on conceiving the Christ-child were it not for the encounter with God and the unintended (by her) pregnancy that changed her life

How often do we arrogantly boast of our own plans? "We'll live here for 3 more years while we finish up ABC and then we'll move to XYZ." Or, "We'll have another child and then we're done." Or, "I'll stay home until the kids are in school and then I'll resume my career." Or even, "next summer we'll take a vacation to Galveston."

Here's one thing the Bible says about firmly laid plans:
James 4:13-16
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."
But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

We ought to speak very carefully when we make remarks alluding to our plans and intentions. I also believe we ought to weigh our actual plans and intentions carefully- making sure that (1) they don't go against the Word of God, and (2) we have prayerfully inquired of the Lord for wisdom and guidance in a decision. With a sovereign God reigning on His throne, there is no "plan B"... whether that means cancer, miscarriage, a total shift in career/life direction, humanly-unintended pregnancy(s), accidents, whatever. It's only "plan B" as seen from our limited perspective. According to God, it's all Plan A.

We need to adjust out vision, our views on "plans", and our vocabulary accordingly.


CappuccinoLife said...

Francine Rivers wrote a beautiful book (The Atonement Child) that illustrates how God's plans are so much higher than ours. It even includes a mention of "Plan B" and then abortion--by the end I was crying and thanking God that the young women offered both those options rejected them, and trusted God's plan above the machinations of others!

Christie said...

Did you see news today of the birth control pill for men? An interesting book to read is by Dr. Carol Djerassi, one of the early scientists who developed the female birth control pill. He said in today's climate, a male pill would not pass safety testing. It was scary to read how easily the women's pill came into widespread use.

Christie said...

Sorry ... the author is Carl Djerassi, not Carol.

Mom said...

That was absolutely fantastic. You are right on with everything that you said. With my last "career move", I was sent to special trainings in different cities, where days at a time, we were taught how to "use our planners", and even saw videos and slides that made different classmates reach for their kleenex to wipe tears away, as we saw how easy it would be to "plan the perfect day or week or month", if only we had the "know-how" to do it. Then, when we all went back to the "real world", after the training, we all realized that whatever happened was going to happen, even IF we had dotted all of our i's and crossed all of our t's in our planners. We even had to turn in copies of our planners to our boss to prove that we had our weeks planned out "properly". It's so wonderful to know that my boss (the Lord) wants me to read His planner, and take time to study that, and focus on the plans He has for me. Even if I am your mom, I really appreciate that article. Love you!