Plan B is never my first choice.
Don’t most of us prefer Plan A? That is always the preferred route. The best course of action. The expected path to fulfillment. Surely no one starts with Plan B.
Plan B is the alternate route. The way we must go when Plan A fails. The road life forces us to take when the unexpected blocks our way. Looking back over a few decades, I’ve noticed many of us have lived much of our life in Plan B.Plan B is the alternate route. The way we must go when Plan A fails. The road life forces us to take when the unexpected blocks our way. I’ve noticed many of us have lived much of our life in Plan B. . Click To Tweet
A good word to substitute would be detour. Thesaurus uses these words for detour: diversion, deviation, bypass, alternate route, and (my favorite), long way around.
When traveling, we don’t usually select the long way around. Unless we have deliberately chosen the scenic route, we seek the straight highway. A “detour” sign means we’ll be spending extra time on the road.
That little word detour transforms our journey, breezing along in the sunshine to a dark, ominous drive through the unknown. How do we respond? Disappointment. Discouragement. Distress. Despair. (That’s the valley of the D’s.) Throw in a few more emotions. Frustration. Irritation. Exasperation. Fury. Did I cover the topic?
No, Plan B is never my first choice. Who prefers a detour over a straight path?
We see detours as a setback. An unfruitful experience. Barrenness. God sees them as training ground.We see detours as a setback. An unfruitful experience. Barrenness. God sees them as training ground. Click To Tweet
Moses—the baby rescued from the bulrushes by the Egyptian Pharaoh’s daughter—grew up in the palace enjoying privilege, position, and power. Surely his birth-mother, who became his nurse, told him God had spared him for a mighty purpose. Maybe that dominated his thinking and led to his losing his temper and striking an Egyptian to defend a fellow Israelite. Anyway, he fled in shame. A murderer. A wanted man.
Could pride have been a factor contributing to his undoing? He spent the next forty years in the desert. Detour or training ground?
All I know is God had chosen him long ago for a mission beyond anything Moses could have imagined—to lead his people out of bondage to a new land where they would serve him and prosper. When God spoke to him through the flaming bush, Moses didn’t beat his chest in pride and declare his worthiness. He said, “Who am I that I should go…?” (Exodus 3:11). He came up with reasons he couldn’t possibly accept.
What happened to his pride? Later the Bible says Moses was the meekest man on the earth (Numbers 12:3). The wilderness had done its work. He’d become a man totally dependent on God.
The refiner’s fire removes dross to produce purity. The wilderness experience gets out the crud…the filth…to make us usable.
Detours rarely lead to picturesque parks and picnics. Often they involve deep, desolate canyons of isolation.
The child of God who is following him wholeheartedly and seeking to obey him in everything can be confident he has a purpose in the wilderness. The detour is not punishment. It’s preparation.
I can truthfully say I’m never excited about Plan B. But I can truthfully say I’m excited about what God will do in Plan B. It’s beginning to look like my Plan B is his Plan A.
One thing’s for sure: if God leads us into a wilderness, he will provide for us there.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert…I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise” (Isaiah 43:20b-21).
There may be a detour ahead. But who knows what God has designed beyond it? Rejoice in Plan B!
© Dianne Barker 2020