The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 ESV)
“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line”. We all learned this in geometry. The problem is, we often try to apply this geometric principle to our lives. We make our lists, set our goals, map out the path to get there and off we go, praying for God’s assistance in getting us there. Everything’s fine as long as it all goes according to plan.
But the truth is, we don’t live in some 2 dimensional, theoretical plane that adheres to these geometric laws. Life is messy. We live in a world of all kinds of forces. Relationships, finances, health issues, fears, desires, sin, injustice, and all kinds of things pulling us in different directions.
So what happens when our straight line from point A to point B is acted upon by all of these other forces? Our lines get crooked, and we don’t like crooked lines.
When our lines get crooked we get upset, disappointed, mad, frustrated, we play the “what if” or “if only” game. We have regrets, we give up, or we get depressed. Sometimes, we feel guilty and feel like we’ve let God down because after all, God draws these neat and tidy little straight lines from point A to point B, right?
Well, if God’s will is this straight line from point A to point B, what about Joseph? He became the most powerful man in Egypt only behind Pharaoh. But Joseph didn’t chart that course and map that out. He didn’t graduate from Egyptville High School with honors and attend the University of Egypt Law School. Nope, let’s see, he made his brothers mad, got thrown in a pit, was sold into slavery, got a good job, got taken advantage of by a bad woman, got thrown in jail, interpreted a dream, was forgotten, got another good job, became rich and powerful and saved his people. That circuitous route wasn’t Joseph’s plan, but it WAS God’s plan, and it took an entire lifetime.
So, maybe we should stop being disappointed that we haven’t gotten from point A to point B and stop feeling like we’ve let God down. Let’s acknowledge that His ways are not our ways and REST in the fact that, those straight lines… WE DREW THOSE… and GOD DRAWS CROOKED LINES.