In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Are you kidding me? I was already late. But the road sign ahead instructed me to adjust my expectations: “Expect Delays,” it announced. Traffic was slowing down.
I had to laugh: I expect things to work on my ideal timeline; I don’t expect road construction.
On a spiritual level, few of us plan for crises that slow us down or reroute our lives. Yet, if I think about it, I can recall many times when circumstances redirected me—in big ways and small. Delays happen.
Solomon never saw a sign that said, “Expect Delays.” But in Proverbs 16, he does contrast our plans with God’s providential guidance. The Message paraphrases verse 1 as follows: “Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.” Solomon restates that idea in verse 9, where he adds that even though we “plan [our] course . . . the Lord establishes [our] steps.” In other words, we have ideas about what’s supposed to happen, but sometimes God has another path for us.
How do I lose track of this spiritual truth? I make my plans, sometimes forgetting to ask Him what His plans are. I get frustrated when interruptions interfere.
But in place of that worrying, we could, as Solomon teaches, grow in simply trusting that God guides us, step-by-step, as we prayerfully seek Him, await His leading, and—yes—allow Him to continually redirect us.
How do you typically face unexpected delays and detours? When frustrations come, what will help you lean into God and trust Him more?