Friday, 23 October 2015

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry but God's plans never do

I was sitting in a planning meeting, the speaker was talking about making plans, and just how important plans are to daily routines, then a colleague said, I live by this saying "If you fail to plan, then plan to fail." The presenter agreed, then she said..

The bible can't ever be wrong- it teaches us everything! Remember - Nehemiah had a plan!

I scribbled a note on the sticky side of my brain - 'Read Nehemiah' Truth be told, when she said Nehemiah had a plan, I just smiled, I didn't know what his plan had been, I didn't know his story, and I felt a little....deflated. 

A girl on a christian journey that had never read the book of Nehemiah, and that voice that creeps in like the dark horse in a race said - ' you are a fraud and you have no right writing a blog if you don't even know your bible from cover to cover.' I listened. I agreed. 

I'm not a planner. I'm not big on making any kind of plans. I'm that person that makes a list in my head, then forgets the salt- the very thing that was down to the last grain. I'm that person that in an effort not to be saltless makes a list the next time and leaves the list on the table at home, and stands again in the store hapless and leaves, you guessed it - saltless.

Recently, I was likened to one of the 5 foolish virgins - halfway prepared - and I must admit- it just might be the truth about me. I know I need salt, I have the money to buy the salt, I go to where the salt is, I get everything else, then remember the salt when I get home, and either have to go back to get it or well, ask my neighbour for some...neighbours always have salt, and they usually say yes, unlike the wise virgins. 

But in my culture, even though your neighbour will give you a little salt, they'll talk about you after; they'll talk about you being saltless.

In the planning meeting we were challenged to do a look at self, then make a plan - so I decided to stare the dark horse in the face and made a plan to read Nehemiah. I was glad it wasn't a long read, I find the Old Testament belabouring to read, which is probably why I have never read every book thereof! I said it! I admit it! Should I be ashamed of it? Probably, but I'm on a journey to change it and the Master in his wisdom, got me to read Nehemiah, for such a time as this.

I have embarked on a new phase, and I need to plan now more than ever. I need to put it on paper, I need to be consistent and I need to follow through. Nehemiah taught a lot of lessons, he realized there was a grave situation facing his people, he felt sorrowful but he didn't try to fix it himself , like we often do. He simply prayed. His answer wasn't immediate. 4 months. 

Nehemiah was a cup bearer, a pretty snazzy kind of job back in those days, but he decided that he was going to leave the comforts of a palace to build a wall... yes a wall, he was going to chip his nails, get dirty, sweat and deal with all sorts of issues that undoubtedly he wouldn't have encountered in a palace, but he was willing and ready to go. 

Nehemiah made a plan, he didn't plan to fail, he motivated a people and he got them to believe in their God again, he got them to see his vision- the hallmark of a great leader. He faced opposition with wisdom and stood firm on the promises of his God. The people kept building with a sword in hand! 

I am not sure if Nehemiah knew anything about construction, afterall he was tucked away in a palace, I'm not sure if he was a great motivational speaker, but he got a people to rebuild, I'm not sure he was skilled in enemy combat or warfare but he overcame all the plans of his enemies. What I am sure of is - He knew that his God would give him great success and if God said it- he certainly believed it!

  Nehemiah 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? 20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

If we pray to God and he answers our prayers in a certain fashion, would we run to it like Nehemiah did? Is it that we would leave our comfort zones and comfortable palaces to go to a city in ruins? Maybe our lives are what lies in ruins, and God is saying, get up from this comfort that you think you have and go forth to rebuild your life, one broken, burnt up brick at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was the wall, so it takes time, it takes effort, it takes sweat, it takes patience but most of all to rebuild it takes putting on the whole armour of God, with a sword in our hand while we rebuild. 

The enemy will come in - he will laugh at your wall, he will say : Nehemiah 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. But be steadfast, unmovvable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. ( 1 Cor. 15:58).

Nehemiah proves that with a plan and with unmmovable faith in the face of adversity, much can be accomplished. The wise virgins knew that a plan was important too, and so does God, He always has a plan- always. 

When I considered this lesson that I am now painting on this canvas I think of all who say - we shouldn't make plans, for tomorrow isn't promised to anyone, so planning is a bit presumptuous, I thought about it a lot but I'm going to have to disagree, if your plans are ordered by the Lord, if he leads the way, there will be provision, there will be time, there will be success. If God plans, then I must also plan in Him and through Him.

So I have made a plan, to have a plan, to stand on the promises of God, and when the dark horse neighs, I will swiftly say 'The God of heaven will give me success.' 

My posts have been few this month of October, so I have made a plan, to post every Wednesday and Fridays in spite of the rubble that is at my feet.

What plans have you made lately? Did you apply the Nehemiah principle? Will you from now on?

Reading : Nehemiah , Mathew 25 vs.1-13

Related post: When delay feels like denial


  1. Dear Tanya, thank you for your steadfast desire to go forward. We are always faced with some sort of obstacle, whether it's physical, mental, or spiritual. But our God is faithful. He will provide us a way through. We just need to go forward with a plan that puts trust in Him first.
    Love to you from Arizona.

    1. Thanks Gleniece, I am learning day by day to do just that, the oppositions can sometimes be so continuous that it wears you down and you forget, have to keep constantly reminding ourselves of His faithfulness. Thanks for your love and God's blessings to you too

  2. Hi there, This was such a lovely post and reminder....I particularly loved "if your plans are ordered by the Lord, if he leads the way, there will be provision, there will be time, there will be success." because it is true... He numbers our days and knows the plans and purposes He has for us.

    1. Thanks Ariete, plans to prosper us and to have an expected end! Oh isn't it a comfort in times of trouble just to know this. Glad you were blessed and may favour follow you