What Happens When God Disrupts Our Plans?
You would assume being a missionary’s wife that I would know all about a trusting in unknown times. But God still has (LOTS OF) lessons for me to learn. Three months after moving to Honduras our plans were disrupted. COVID shifted our world and suddenly we found ourselves without a “job.” We had planned to fly surgeons from the U.S. to help minister to the people in our city. Travel stopped and suddenly we were asking, what then? All of the trips for the rest of the year were cancelled. Our Spanish lessons stopped. The church even closed and had to go to online worship. What was one month turned into 2, 3, 5, and suddenly seven months we are here – in the same place as before.
Best laid plans…. Our family was trying to settle into a new life in January of 2020. We had predictable plans. Suddenly our family faced days of unrest, frustration, and lots of loneliness. We were still getting adjusted to the climate, language, and culture when the virus hit. We had to figure out ordering groceries, finding water, and getting the necessities when suddenly our city closed down. Little did we know how God would show Himself predictable during the time of the pandemic.
During that time, we watched plans canceled again and again. Disruption was what we felt on every side of us. It seemed to loom larger than the virus itself. We weren’t ministering in the ways we had imagined. We were the ones that needed ministering to. I battled homesickness, loneliness, anxiety, discontentment, and depression. I wondered how this disruption could be something we gave thanks for instead of looked at with longing hearts for the way things were.
I remember after 108 days of lockdown saying to God, “This isn’t how I imagined life would be….” I’ve always kind of known what it is like to live a life of changed plans. There have been several moments in my life when I have felt time had been wasted. I believed God was the Creator who produced life out of nothing. But how could He use this disruption to create something better? How could my heart feel settled when life was so unpredictable? Through the change in plans I found my good and God’s glory. Over and over God has to teach me that control belongs to Him and disrupted plans can in fact be used to a (better, dynamic, settled) faith.
When the enemy disrupts our plans he intends to destroy, bring us down, discourage, disappoint, and disillusion us. He would like more than anything to confuse us when life brings disruption. But what if we saw our disruptions in a different light?
When God disrupts our plans, He does so to clarify His purpose, draw us into community with Him, open our hands to receive goodness, and lead us closer to Him. His plans are never canceled, muddled, or unsettled. Our plans might not go as we had thought, but God says that we can still cultivate a (better, settled, dynamic) faith! The breaking apart can be the way we are put back together again.
Our life might be unpredictable, but God is always predictable. Nothing unexpected comes into our lives without God’s hand directing each step. What we know about God surfaces when life feels uncertain and erratic. The fickleness of disruption doesn’t have to topple our hearts.