Isn’t it amazing when it feels like a song or a book was written just for you? Lyrics that cut straight to your heart, a poem whose every line uplifts your spirit, or a book that speaks exactly to your current circumstances. These particulars in the universal remind us just how connected we all are.
For me, Pete Wilson’s Plan B is one of those books. From the moment I started the first chapter, I was immediately drawn in and I knew I would find just the encouragement I needed in my life right now. In this post, I’ll share some of my favourite insights from the book.
The basic theme of the book is that, in each person’s life, we all encounter times when things are not going according to plan. Moments of struggle, perhaps where nothing seems to be going right and we may feel that God has abandoned us. But as Wilson argues, it is precisely these times that we should trust in God the most. God works these situations for the good, to grow our faith and draw us closer to him and away from the things that distract us from being as close to God as we should.
As Wilson notes, “Your dreams may not be happening, and things aren’t turning out the way you expected, but that doesn’t mean your life is spinning out of control. It just means you’re not in control. It’s in those moments you can learn to trust the only one who has ever had control in the first place.”
It’s all about surrendering our lives to God and realizing that, even if things don’t turn out the way we expect them to, our lives are still working for God’s glory. Giving up control gives God room to work in our lives. And if we want to see God work in our lives, we have to first take that risk of trusting him. This involves stepping out in faith, before we’re sure of where we’re going.
These Plan B experiences can make us fearful and paralyzed with indecision, afraid of making any move. Yet, we are “fashioned for faith, not fear and worry.” The answer to this fear is to replace worry with a respect for God and his ways. To illustrate this point, Wilson includes this quote from Oswald Chambers: “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.”
The key, then, is putting all fears in God’s hands and then moving forward in trust. “When you respond in your current circumstances as if you were confident that God is there, you will see God in your circumstances.” It might not happen right away, but eventually it will.
On the question of knowing God’s will for our lives, Wilson is refreshingly frank: it’s a matter of trial and error. “Sometimes we get it all wrong. And sometimes we have no clue whether we’re getting it right until much later.”
Part of the problem is that we’re asking the wrong questions:
Often in life, the what, when, and where are not going to turn out the way you want them to turn out. You don’t always get to choose those things, but you get to choose the why. [...] If you can focus on the why, the what, the when, and the where will come. Hang on to your central purpose, and one way or another, the other details will work themselves out.
Another key point is that it’s as much about the person we’re becoming as where we’re going. God may call you to something that doesn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean you missed his will for your life. These situations can teach us crucial lessons on our journey.
Remember that God knows what you are going through and he is with you every step of the way. “He knows what he’s doing with your life, even if you don’t.”
Some other salient quotes from the book:
“While life is uncertain, God is not. While our power is limited, God’s is limitless. While our hope may be fragile, God is hope himself.”
“God has a perspective on life we don’t have—and God is working in your situation right now, even if you can’t see it.”
Trusting in God, having confidence in him even when times are trying, will give you the hope you need to keep soldiering on. And hope makes all the difference.