How do you respond when life doesn’t go according to your plan? How do you handle it when things go wrong? I usually complain, get mad and let my outward demeanor show it. I then start trying to fix it, figure out what I need to cut to get back on track and go faster. When that doesn’t work, the previous response get elevated and I try going faster. It’s my wife who usually has to bring me back to reality. She’ll say something like, “Remember this may not be part of your plan, but it could be part of God’s. Have you tried praying yet?” Most of the time that works. It helps me refocus on God’s plan instead of my own. When it doesn’t work, she starts praying out loud for the situation and me.
Job was the model person for how to respond when our plans go wrong. Things were going great in his life until one day when a storm knocked down the house his kids were in. Then his property was raided and the people stole his livestock and killed his shepherds. All he had worked for was gone in an instant. Instead of getting angry or blaming God, Job 1:20 says, “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped” (ESV). He didn’t run to his vice. He didn’t go try to fix things or make a new plan. He mourned for his losses and found a way to return his focus to God.
I love the prayer in Habakkuk 3. Verses 17-18 say, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” When everything is going wrong in your life, it’s time turn towards God and try things his way. When the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, find a way to worship and rejoice in the God of your salvation. I know this is easier said than done, but it takes a conscious effort to refocus and recognize that it’s not God destroying your life or taking things away from you. That’s not who He is. When we worship like Job in difficult times, it gets our focus back on the only one who can sustain us and help us. Remember, His plan is greater than ours and He can restore what was taken from you.