June 13, 2017

When God’s Plans for Your Life Don’t Happen in a Straight Line

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 13, 2017

By Shana Schutte  

So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.  Zechariah 4:6

When I was 21, I lived in London as a college exchange student. During my stay in England, it exhilarated me to hop on the train, travel to a part of the city I hadn’t seen before and wander around without an agenda. My sweet roommate, however, was a planner. She needed to know why she was going somewhere, how to get there, and what to do once she arrived. One evening, when we were supposed to attend a concert, my roomie was naturally in charge of getting us there, so she had the map. Only something went wrong.

We got lost and for over 90 minutes we wandered the crooked streets of London without a clue where we were headed. Sure, I wanted to see the concert, but after a while, I thought, “That’s okay. If we can’t find it, we can do something else.” My roommate was so exasperated that she kicked a cement post in the middle of the sidewalk several times. I was certain she had broken her toes. We eventually found the concert and made our way home with her toes—thankfully—uninjured.

Understandably, my friend felt the trip from our apartment to the concert should have been a straight line, like the one an arrow makes to a bull’s-eye. Instead, it was like the trip a bee makes from one flower to another—in loop-de-loops and circles.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

When God is revealing His purposes and plans for you through seasons of life, remember that even if He has told you how you will ultimately serve Him or where He is taking you, it doesn’t mean that the fulfillment of that promise will happen in a straight line. Instead, you might feel like you are going in loop-de-loops and circles like you are wandering. This is okay. Remember that even if some of your “circles” seem unrelated to God’s plan, He will weave them into His plan to perfect that which concerns you (Psalm 138:8).

Joseph must have known what it felt like to wander in circles. In Genesis, God showed him through dreams that his brothers would bow down and worship him (Genesis 37:5-6). It wasn’t until many years later after being sold into slavery, serving Potiphar for 10 years, being thrown into prison for two years (after Potiphar’s wife accused him of trying to rape her) and becoming the Prime Minister of Egypt that Joseph’s brothers finally did do just as his dreams revealed. Scripture says God had His hand on Joseph all along for a greater purpose than he could have imagined–to save the lives of many. If Joseph’s trip from slavery to seeing his dreams materialize wasn’t a straight line for him, then why should we expect that it will be for us?

We need to remember that following God is not a destination; it’s a journey, and He most often slowly unfolds His plans before us. When we remember, we’ll have more peace. And that’s a whole lot better than getting frustrated and kicking cement posts, don’t you think?

“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name” (Psalm 33:20-21).



Lord, there are times when I get impatient. I want to see where you are taking me now. Help me to fully live in the journey with you each day and trust your unfolding plan. Amen.


Take out a piece of paper and make a timeline of your life. As you mark events over the years, consider the times you have felt as if you were wandering in circles or maybe not moving at all, then thank God for the ways He has been faithful to lead you.

Related Reading

Psalm 20:6-8; 2 Timothy 2:1; Romans 8:31

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As we follow Jesus let’s enjoy the journey and not stress over our unknown future. #WisdomHunters #Godplan

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