"and the Word became flesh."
I always found it difficult the way that people talk about God's plan. As a pastor I have heard so many stories that go like this:
Person one is hurting and goes to talk to person two who she knows is a Christian. Person two wants to comfort person one.
Person two wants to say. "I know that you are scared and afraid and alone. I wish I could make it better, but I know I can't. I don't know if this helps, but I believe in you. I believe your journey is sacred, and that with God's grace you are stronger than this obstacle. I want you to know that even though you don't believe it will be ok. I do. So even if you can't find the strength to believe things will be ok, at least take solace in the knowledge that I believe it. I believe that God loves you and is guiding you and I respect you. I don't know how it will work-out but I believe in God. I also believe in you."
That is what person two wants to say, but what person two does say is: "God has a plan."
Which totally breaks person one's heart. Person two has no idea why Person one felt offended. She was there for person one in her vulnerable time.
But, while person two said, "God has a plan" what person one heard was, "You are suffering because that is what God wants. Suffering is what you deserve because you are so messed up. Suck it up. Move on. Stop bothering me with your petty problems. If you had more faith you wouldn't have to bother me."
Planning is a funny thing. I like to say that I love plans. That is why I have about 8 of them in any given moment. Planning is good because it is a time where we exercise creativity, but you don't want to limit your creativity to a few times a year and then just live on auto pilot. And maybe that is why I have never liked stressing God's plan so much. After all, what I want and what I need is God here. I don't just want to settle for the idea that God's plan is here.
Plans make us feel better, but keeping our mind in the future is not hard. Keeping our minds in the present is hard.
So this is what I recommend. Take a sacred breath. Feel God here. Put down the weight of trying to have things figured out for one second, and listen to God. Listen with your mind. Listen with your breath. Listen with your body. For a moment stop to consider the following statement. "When I really know that God is here, I lose concern for his plan."