When The Game Plan Changes

November 21, 2017
by Martin Wiles

Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. (NLT)

The week had been slow, but I'd been in full-time ministry long enough to know that things can change in a second — and they did.

Besides my normal schedule, all I had planned for the next day was to pray with our church mission team at 6 a.m. They were leaving for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. Then, I received a call from a church member. Her husband would be having surgery around 7 a.m. On the way to church that evening, my wife's brother called. He was on the list to receive a heart transplant and had just left the doctor's office. They wanted him at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston at 4 p.m. the next day. He had no one to take him. Without the heart, his days were numbered.

Suddenly, my game plan had changed — a change not only for us but for my two grown children. Since my wife keeps our grandchildren, a change in our game plan means one in theirs. They have no dependable back-up plan, so a last-minute call from us can put them in a quandary. But they know that I'm on 24-hour call, and things can change in a moment.

I like to initiate change — when it's needed and when the end result will entail a helpful alteration — but I don't like it to be thrust upon me. I'm a creature of habit, and this change meant getting up two hours earlier, as well as a four-hour drive to the hospital — and to an area that I dislike. I'd have to work from the car, and we'd be lucky to get home by midnight — a long day.

Trusting in the Lord with all my heart and depending on Him rather than on my own understanding isn't easy — or always convenient. A part of following Him means making myself available to opportunities that He sends — even when they change the game plan. Our mission team needed prayer, and so did the man having surgery. My wife's brother also needed our help. Three opportunities. Three chances to serve.

When God changes our game plan, let's trust that He has a reason. Then, let's enjoy the chance that He's giving us to serve.

Prayer: Father, though we don't enjoy changes thrust upon us, help us to trust that You have a reason. Then, prompt us to serve in love. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>

Greenwood, South Carolina, USA


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Martin!


    Sounds familiar. Thank you for reminding me!


    God bless you in all you do. I pray all went well in that very busy day for everyone.


    Martin!
    In all things to the Glory of God!


    Martin – I just love this passage of scripture, but I had not thought of it in this way before. Thanks for expanding my understanding of this passage.


    One of the things I live with all the time are game changes, especially for our Dec. issue, the busiest of the year.
    Thank you for helpful insights into dealing with this!


    Dear Martin Wiles,
    I thank God that he spread the hours out from 6 to 7 to 4:00 pm!
    I pray for those in urgent need.


    Dear Martin,
    My life has and is going through great upheaval, with, at this stage, no clear outcome.
    Your devotional highlighted my need to trust in the Lord and I thank you.


    Isn’t it the truth. Plans do have a way of changing, but our God never does. He’s always there on the other end of prayer . . . dependable, reliable, and always ready, especially when we’re not. Thanks for sharing this inspiring devotional this morning. Blessings.


    Dear Martin
    Like you, I’m a creature of habit as well. I am still learning to trust God with the changes that have been entrusted to me. Thank you for the reminder.
    Hopefully everything turned out well at your end.


    Like so much in life, it would be so much easier (we think) if plans happened and changed according to our way of thinking …. if everything just fell neatly into place … our time, our way, etc. But God knows what is best for all in the long run and He will throw monkey wrenches into our plans in order to fulfill His plans which are always much better than ours.


    Martin,
    Well said and explained.
    They say, “wanna make God laugh, tell Him YOUR plans’.
    Best to open to whatever He might present to us. I’ve tried to do that during my 30 years of ministry.
    (CA)


    Martin,
    I love your contributions and appreciate them very much. But today’s touched me at a most needed level. My last two days have seemed as though I was living in a centrifuge! And it’s not over today. But God’s presence is constant and your remarks this morning a real encouragement.
    God bless you – and your family – with all the riches of His grace.


    Isn’t that life?
    Lately, I have had to change plans constantly.
    I have a big, important project that has gone to the bottom of the pile!
    As the deadline approaches, I am tempted to panic, but remind myself that God has a bigger picture than I can comprehend.
    Relax! He has my back.
    Thanks Martin for this reassurance,
    (BC Canada)

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