An old Yiddish proverb says “We plan, God laughs.” It’s another way of saying we can make all the plans we want or focus on what we think our desires and purposes are, but God often has other plans for us.
“He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.”
– Psalm 2:4
The above Bible verse viewed in the context of its meaning spoke to “the vain and futile efforts of man to escape from the control of his laws and throw off his dominion,” according to the pulpit commentary at Bible Hub.
One can execute all the plans they want, rebel against God, but such plans are weak and will fail. Why? Because God knows all. He’s outside the boundaries of earthly time and sees all that ever was and all that ever will be. Physics supports the idea that such an observer could exist.
“Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’”
– Isaiah 46:10
So what does this mean in terms of making plans in your own life? It means that God knows what you’re going to do before you do it. Further, and more importantly, apparently, God has His own plans for all of us. The Bible is full of examples.
Saul hated and persecuted early believers of the Christian gospel. But one day on the road to Damascus, God gave him a vision. The voice of Jesus spoke to him. The overwhelming light left Saul blinded for three days, and he had to be led to a house where he stayed and did not eat or drink.
A man named Ananias arrived, laid hands on Saul, telling him Jesus had sent him to restore his sight and so that he might be filled with the Holy Spirit. After Saul’s sight was restored, he was baptized in the Christian faith and changed his name to Paul. He went on to become the most prolific writer of the New Testament and champion of the Christian faith.
His way of thinking and personality was literally reborn. Now knowing the truth of Jesus, there was no turning back. His life’s purpose became missionary work for Christianity. Talk about a change of plans!
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
There are numerous examples of people who start life in one direction and end up completely in another. Random chance encounters or situations, decisions on a whim, and countless unplanned events have taken people in life changing directions – directions they would have never purposely gone otherwise. How do we explain such things? It is God at work.
We are not to sit idle and let God make all our decisions for us. We need to take action and responsibility for our own lives. However, at the same time, we shouldn’t agonize too strongly over every little detail, especially when it comes to the big picture. Take positive and productive little steps every day and trust God to watch over us when it comes to the big stuff.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”