Married life is often full of second-guessing—especially when things fail to turn out like we had planned. We thought God was directing a decision only to watch things fall apart. We pray for open doors that remain firmly shut. We even wonder at times whether the person that we married was the right choice. What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought he would.
That is the subtitle for pastor Pete Wilson’s new book, Plan B. It is a timely offering in an economic era when so many people continue to experience delays or outright failures with Plan A. When our Plan A fails many of us immediately question God—reminding me of the biblical story of Gideon in which he questions God’s call because things just haven’t gone according to plan. Of course, God tells Gideon in the book of Judges to “go with the strength that you have.”
In many ways, that is Wilson’s admonition as well for us who have struggled to make sense of our journey. Wilson’s advice centers on our ability to trust God in the midst of the pain. Wilson gives us the assurance that though we often feel out of control that God actually never is.
In my reading there was one particular line that was so striking to me that I had to write it down. It reads as follows “I’ve noticed that even those of us who have trusted our heavenly Father with our eternities often have a tough time trusting him with our tomorrows.” Wow! That is powerful. As believers we conceptually believe that God has all things under his control. Yet, when our Plan A doesn’t happen we struggle to feel that God is with us.
Wilson does an admirable job of conveying those classic Plan B situations. Sometimes they are issues of life and death. At other times, they are feelings of success or failure. Plan B situations run the gamut. We all have our Plan B moments.
From my perspective as a marriage expert, I think Wilson’s message is particularly salient for this field. As I suggested in my opening, marriage is full of Plan B situations. But, there are probably few relationships that hold the power to demonstrate God’s glory in a Plan B situation than the marital relationship. Plan B’s test our faith that our marriage is shaping us into the people that God has purposed us to become. Plan B’s shape our spiritual formation by replacing our self-centeredness with a God-centeredness.
I highly recommend Plan B for every Christian who lives life because one day you may need this reminder that it is God, not us, that is the originator of our Plans.