How Do We React to a Change in Our Plans?

detour-sign[1]By John Ashley

James 4:14-15  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

My wife, Joann, had surgery scheduled this morning on her hand.  It was to be an outpatient procedure, a “routine” surgery, if there is such a thing.  We had informed friends and family, Joann had nothing to eat after midnight and all the anxiety was building.  That is when the phone rang and it was the hospital calling, the woman on the phone said that there was an emergency in the surgeon’s family and the surgery for today is cancelled and needed to be re scheduled.  Naturally disappointment followed the phone call, all the preparations (both physically and mentally) were for naught and we would need to face all these emotions again in the near future.

My thoughts almost immediately turned to a heart surgery our son Johnny had about fifteen years ago.  He was having a leaky mitral valve replaced with a mechanical valve.  He had been admitted into the hospital two days before the surgery to get him weaned off his blood thinners and prepared for the surgery.  The day of the surgery came and we were very concerned and anxious about how things would go.  He was scheduled to have surgery at 1:00, family and friends were gathered at the hospital, our pastor was there to have prayer before he went to the operating room, when the nurse came in and told us there would be a delay in the surgery.  This happened a few times and then the surgery was cancelled.  This change in plans was very hard for us to take at the time.  After all we had been at the hospital for two days and it would take another couple of days in the hospital to get the blood thinners regulated again!

We were presented two options: we could go home and reschedule the surgery with the original surgeon (a world renown pediatric heart surgeon) or we could have his associate operate the next day.  We chose to have the surgery done the next day.  After all we had been there for two days and we couldn’t imagine having to go through the range of emotions again for an extended period of time.  As it turned out the surgeon the next day had a different plan to do the procedure.  It was less invasive and Johnny recovered very quickly and was in much less pain then previous surgeries.

I say all this to present to us a question:  How do we react when God changes our plans?  When we are stuck in traffic or no one seems to be in a hurry but us.  Do we respond in anger; or do we allow our emotions to take over and let frustration rule our actions?  I have to admit that I am guilty of weak faith at times like that.  I lose sight of who is in control.  The Bible tells us in Psalm 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.”  If we believe the Bible is true (which it is) then we need to allow the Lord to make some course corrections in our lives without getting angry or frustrated by our circumstances.

Joann and I adopted Proverbs 27:1 as kind of a family verse, because it sums up the changes we have faced in life.  It states, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”  May the Lord help us to see His hand in the detours of life.

To read more about the inspiring life of our son Johnny we have written a book titled “Finding Grace and Peace IN SPITE OF Trials and Tragedy” available on  Click on the link below.