RANDALL J. BREWER
Words spoken at the end of one’s life have a special value attacked to them. A person can look back at his or her life and see what really matters and what doesn’t.
Last words mean something because they are filled with thoughts and beliefs that come from a lifetime of experiencing the best and worst that life has to offer. It is an honor to listen to an elderly person reminisces about days gone by.
Prov.16:31 says, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory.” People who are in their latter years have experienced fully the journey of life and they know what they’re talking about. It would be wise for all of us to listen carefully to whatever it is they have to say.
The Bible is also filled with meaningful last words spoken by people toward the end of their lives on planet earth. Before He ascended on high Jesus expressed His desire for all men to be saved.
2 Timothy is the final letter written by Paul before his death and it will encourage you greatly as you hear him pour his heart out to his ever loyal friend and companion. Samson, with his eyes gouged out and his hands resting upon two pillars, made his only recorded faith confession just moments before his greatest victory and his own death.
Joshua records in the final chapter of his own book these famous last words, “Choose you this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). What a powerful way to close out the story of one’s life.
There are many others, of course, but I want to focus on some of the last recorded words spoken by people in all of scripture. After the death of his father, Joseph tearfully listened to his older brothers as they pled for their very lives.
They cried out and said it was their father’s final wish that they be not put to death for selling their younger brother into slavery many years before. Knowing they deserved the full fury of Joseph’s wrath and expecting it to be put upon them, they went and fell down before him offering their total selves to whatever he commanded.
How shocked they must have been as they heard the warm hearted Joseph speak these words, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Now, therefore, do not be afraid. I will care for you and your little ones” (Gen. 50:19-21). The message Joseph was conveying is that when things go wrong, when plans get interrupted, if you will put your trust in God there is always hope and the assurance that your God-given dream will come to pass.
These words have special meaning to me because like Joseph, I too am a dreamer. I dream and through much prayer and meditation I do that which is necessary on my part to help bring those dreams into manifestation.
That which I cannot do I leave in the hands of the Lord. Because there is an enemy arrayed against us, a truth all believers must face is that our plans rarely unfold before us as we originally thought they would.
How many times do we set goals and make plans only to have something beyond our control interrupt them? More than once this happened in the life of the apostle Paul. He writes in Rom. 1:13a, “Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren that I often planned to come to you but was hindered until now…” He says in 1 Thess. 2:18, “Therefore we wanted to come to you – even I, Paul, time and again – but Satan hindered us.”
Did you catch that? Time and again – over and over and over – Paul had his plans interrupted. This was also true in the life of Jesus. Look how many times angry mobs of people drove Him from their presence. He wanted to teach these people and heal them, but His plans were interrupted.
The reality of it all is that if we are to grow up and be mature in the things of the Lord then we must be ready and prepared for our plans to be interrupted and we must know what to do about it when they are.
Scripture teaches us that when plans get interrupted one must make the most of what’s left over. Always have a Plan B and a Plan C and a Plan D. God can do as much with a Plan B as He can with a Plan A.
Look at what happened to Paul. We read where he was hindered from going to Rome. That was Plan A. He then moved on to Plan B and wrote these people a letter that we know today as the book of Romans. What the enemy meant for evil God meant for good. If the enemy hinders you from fulfilling Plan A as he did with the apostle Paul, then get in the Spirit and let God help you make the most of Plan B.
By all means, always seek the Lord in everything you do and never, ever stop making plans. The Word says in Prov. 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way but the Lord directs His steps.” How can the Lord direct your steps if you have no plans?
Wisdom will always dictate that you should never get so wrapped up in Plan A that you don’t make a Plan B. Always make sure you’ve got a spare tire in the trunk of your car. God never intended for Adam and Eve to sin but knowing they would, He had a backup plan.
His Name was Jesus! Israel had the evil King Saul as their Plan A for a king, but out in some field tending sheep was God’s Plan B, the great King David. Always have more than one plan and don’t get discouraged if your main plan gets interrupted because it probably will.
When it does, give it to God and put all your effort into plan B. This does not mean you’ve failed. What it probably means is that at this particular time God can do more with Plan B than He can with Plan A. More than likely Plan B will be fulfilled first and then Plan C and somewhere down the road Plan A will sneak up on you and will also get fulfilled.
Never give up on Plan A but do not be afraid to lay it aside and go on to Plan B. Trust God for guidance and when the time is right the manifestation of Plan A will find its way into your life.
Paul’s letter to the Romans was written at the end of his third missionary journey but at the conclusion of his fourth and final journey he did indeed end up in Rome. Paul’s Plan A did eventually get fulfilled and from a Roman prison cell came some of his most inspired writings. All things worked out for the good. Plan B got fulfilled and in time so did Plan A.
A lesson to be learned here is rarely in life does Plan A get fulfilled first. The key to receiving its eventual fulfillment is to have the strength and maturity to lay it aside and move on to Plan B.
Do not doubt or get discouraged. Take the same faith and spiritual energy you had for Plan A and use it instead on Plan B. For sure, when you trust God, He will see to it that all your plans get fulfilled. It worked for Joseph, it worked for Paul, and it will work for you and me.