Planning in a Season of Uncertainty

Uncertainty makes it difficult to make plans. The BIble teaches us to make the best plan, but to be open to the Lord's redirection.

Planning in a Season of Uncertainty

April 16, 2020

The longing for certainty … is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion.Oliver Wendell Holmes

Lord, please just show me the plan, so I can get behind it.

I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed these words. I truly believe I can deal with anything, except the unknown. And never have I been more aware of all the unknowns than during this Coronavirus Crisis.

Everywhere I turn, people offer their opinions and beliefs regarding the following questions: When will we be able to stop social distancing? When can we return to work? When can the students return to school? How long will we be asked to stay home?

No one really knows. Too many factors play into the answers of these questions. For someone who thrives on creating and following plans, this situation multiplies frustration. Should I plan for two more weeks of staying home? Four weeks? Six weeks? How can I make plans under such uncertainty?

As the above quote (from Oliver Wendell Holmes) illustrates, certainty is really an illusion. Our futures may look rosy or grim, but only God truly knows what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or next year.

A wise friend once gave me excellent advice for making decisions in the face of uncertainty: Make the best decision you can. Then make the best of your decision. 

For me, this means making plans under the assumption we will continue social distancing protocols until the end of May. After examining the data and listening to the experts, I believe this is a reasonable conclusion.

But I don’t need to fear making a mistake because of the following promise:

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)

The Bible never instructs us to not make plans, but we need to remember the Lord remains sovereign. Ultimately, His will overrides our desires or global pandemics.

Jesus demonstrated this principle during His ministry. When He heard Herod intended to kill Him, Jesus responded:

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! (Luke 13:32-33 NIV)

Not only did Jesus make a plan, He followed it despite threatening circumstances. He broke the plan into manageable units of time-today, tomorrow and the next day. And He recognized no one can thwart the will of God.

Jesus’ example encourages me to:

  • Make a plan- When I look back on these days, how do I want to remember them? What can I accomplish during this time?
  • Break the time down into manageable units- I can handle anything for one day, two days, even three days. I commit to only focus on intervals of a few days (no more than three). If I allow myself to think of all the social distancing days ahead of me, it will overwhelm me.
  • Remember the will of God will always prevail. My plan may be faulty. The actual days I stay home may be more or less. This means I will need to adjust my plan as the Lord redirects me.

Redirection from the Lord is an old friend. He often intercepts my steps and straightens my paths. The following truth continues to be a guiding compass for me:

Prepare your best path, but leave room for the Lord’s redirection.

Wherever your path leads you during this pandemic, I pray you can find comfort in the same truth.

Planning in a Season of Uncertainty

April 16, 2020

Uncertainty makes it difficult to make plans. The BIble teaches us to make the best plan, but to be open to the Lord's redirection.

The longing for certainty … is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion.Oliver Wendell Holmes

Lord, please just show me the plan, so I can get behind it.

I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed these words. I truly believe I can deal with anything, except the unknown. And never have I been more aware of all the unknowns than during this Coronavirus Crisis.

Everywhere I turn, people offer their opinions and beliefs regarding the following questions: When will we be able to stop social distancing? When can we return to work? When can the students return to school? How long will we be asked to stay home?

No one really knows. Too many factors play into the answers of these questions. For someone who thrives on creating and following plans, this situation multiplies frustration. Should I plan for two more weeks of staying home? Four weeks? Six weeks? How can I make plans under such uncertainty?

As the above quote (from Oliver Wendell Holmes) illustrates, certainty is really an illusion. Our futures may look rosy or grim, but only God truly knows what will happen tomorrow, or next week, or next year.

A wise friend once gave me excellent advice for making decisions in the face of uncertainty: Make the best decision you can. Then make the best of your decision. 

For me, this means making plans under the assumption we will continue social distancing protocols until the end of May. After examining the data and listening to the experts, I believe this is a reasonable conclusion.

But I don’t need to fear making a mistake because of the following promise:

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)

The Bible never instructs us to not make plans, but we need to remember the Lord remains sovereign. Ultimately, His will overrides our desires or global pandemics.

Jesus demonstrated this principle during His ministry. When He heard Herod intended to kill Him, Jesus responded:

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! (Luke 13:32-33 NIV)

Not only did Jesus make a plan, He followed it despite threatening circumstances. He broke the plan into manageable units of time-today, tomorrow and the next day. And He recognized no one can thwart the will of God.

Jesus’ example encourages me to:

  • Make a plan- When I look back on these days, how do I want to remember them? What can I accomplish during this time?
  • Break the time down into manageable units- I can handle anything for one day, two days, even three days. I commit to only focus on intervals of a few days (no more than three). If I allow myself to think of all the social distancing days ahead of me, it will overwhelm me.
  • Remember the will of God will always prevail. My plan may be faulty. The actual days I stay home may be more or less. This means I will need to adjust my plan as the Lord redirects me.

Redirection from the Lord is an old friend. He often intercepts my steps and straightens my paths. The following truth continues to be a guiding compass for me:

Prepare your best path, but leave room for the Lord’s redirection.

Wherever your path leads you during this pandemic, I pray you can find comfort in the same truth.

Leave a Comment