by Mel Tavares
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 NLT
I left for work one morning last week and didn’t even make it to the end of the street before I saw the “road closed” sign and a police officer pointing me to a new route. I groaned and turned left. About two blocks up, I encountered another road closure. Each time I started down one of our crowded city streets, the police redirected me around a natural gas crew who were laying new lines. I arrived late at the office located less than four miles from my house—frustrated and in desperate need of a cup of coffee. Then I found out the reason for the detour, and realized I would need to leave my house ten minutes earlier for a bit in coming mornings while the pipeline project continued.
Life is like that some days, isn’t it? In fact, there are entire seasons of life that seem to be a daily redirection of what we assumed. It is during these times that we should remember Proverbs 16:9. We can and should pray and seek the Lord before making plans for the day, week, month, or year. Doing so allows us to press forward in doing kingdom work and expand our tent pegs. If we make no plans, we might well drift aimlessly, waiting for life to happen to us.
However, we sometimes still hit roadblocks and have to come up with a Plan B even after we consult the Lord. We might have a book release scheduled but end up sick and cannot attend. Or we sign up for a conference, but the flight is canceled. We plan a vacation with the family, but then a diagnosis comes.
Plans that are seemingly shipwrecked are the essence of Proverbs 16:9. We must allow room in our plans for God to redirect our steps. A flight delay may put us next to someone in the airport who needs encouragement, or perhaps next to someone divinely appointed to bring us the next opportunity for writing or speaking.
“The secret things belong to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV). He doesn’t always answer the why questions regarding redirection. We may never get the answer as to why things couldn’t just move forward as planned, but often the revelation comes as we are redirected, and the new path unfolds before us.
Just as I did not initially know why I was being rerouted on my way to the office, then later discovering there were natural gas lines being laid, the purpose of the new path sometimes becomes clearer as we go.
Are you willing to give God room to redirect your steps? Will you press in and continue praying and seeking as He nudges you to tweak your schedule and plans?
Dear Lord, thank you for your constant watch care. I acknowledge that my plans are not your plans, and your ways are not my ways. Sometimes I think I hear your voice, but I don’t get it quite right. I yield my plans to yours today. Thank you for redirecting my steps, when necessary, whether for my protection or another opportunity. Give me the strength and patience and grace I need to adjust to the steps you set before me. Amen.
This article brought to you by the Advance Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Mel Tavares is an accomplished writer and speaker/teacher, both in ministry and in her career. She is passionate about encouraging and teaching writers. Her target market is women who are hurting and in need of Biblical hope. In addition to ghost writing and authoring her own books, Mel is a contributing author to several books, including the recently released DaySpring “Sweet Tea for the Soul: Comfort for Grieving Hearts.” She writes for several online Christian communities, teaches classes online, conducts Facebook Live series, and is a podcast guest as opportunities arise. She is a wife, mom to seven, and grandma to ten.
Join the conversation. How has God redirected your plans in the past?