This weekend, specifically Sunday the 21st, Anita and I celebrate our 33rd anniversary! It seems like only a few years ago we were awkwardly just dating each other ... now we have 7 grown boys, 3 of them married with beautiful and amazing wives, and 2 grandchildren (one already born and another due in November ... our Aussie grand-baby!) We've been in Moody and Community Church since 1986. It's truly crazy to think about our lives and what all has taken place ... and very little of it is exactly as we planned it.
We never sat down together and planned to have 7 boys, we didn't plan for one of them to have Down Syndrome, and certainly didn't plan for our only daughter to die shortly after birth. We never planned to live in Alabama; in fact, I swore I never would. And once we ended up in Alabama it certainly wasn't our plan to move out to Moody. When Anita and I began dating she thought I was going to be a banker - that was my plan and it was a good one. My dad was a banker, my granddad was a banker, and that's what I was gonna do. Except that I was going to do it very successfully and make a lot of money. Well, God had other plans and led me to pursue ministry in the local church. (Poor Anita, she thought she was gonna marry a rich guy.) But even with ministry I had plans to be a particular kind of pastor in a particular kind of church (btw, it didn't look a whole lot like CPC in Moody). As our kids began to grow up we had plans for them. Part of that plan would have me currently driving a Porsche 911 that would have been purchased for me with proceeds from an NBA signing bonus. Those plans for our boys most certainly did not include things like teaching school, buying a lawn care business, or moving overseas.
That list could go on and on ... but the point is that God's plans always overrule my plans and that's a very, very good thing. I'm reminded of some things I wanted to do as a child but my parents didn't let me; their plans for me were much different. As I've matured I now see the obvious wisdom of my parents and the protection they gave me from my own plans and desires. Our Father has infinite wisdom and power to accomplish His plans for our good and His glory. And though my plans haven't all come true, God has been incredibly gracious to us and is blessing us far beyond anything we could have possibly planned.
We likely won't get another 33 years of marriage in before we meet the Lord so we're beginning to make plans for the last third of our lives. We have plans to enjoy many grandchildren, to visit several places overseas, to do some things to our home, etc. We aren't planning to have poor health, to suffer persecution, or to go broke. Wonder what the Lord has planned for us? Whatever it is, it's gonna be good ... because He is good!