We call that Murphy’s Law and all of us have experienced it. In fact, I’ll bet there have been times things were so rotten that you thought Murphy was an optimist.
So what do you do at times like that? In 1 Samuel 4:3 the army of Israel got their tail kicked in battle. “When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines?”
When things fell apart for them, they blamed God for their problem – “the Lord brought the defeat”.
But instead of asking God what was wrong they devised their own plan.
“Let us bring the ark of the Lord ’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” (1 Samuel 4:3)
Instead of going to God with the problem they discuss it among themselves, they plan, they scheme, they come up with a great idea. Send the ark of the covenant into battle ahead of the troops. Surely God won’t let us be defeated if we have the ark with us. He wouldn’t let the enemy steal His box. This plan can’t fail.
But their “foolproof” plan didn’t work. In fact, they ended up in a worse mess than they were before. You may be amazed at their stupidity but I can relate. As stupid as it seems, sometimes I act the same way.
When in a mess I talk to other people. I Google. I read. I ask around but often I fail to simply ask Him. Instead, I devise a foolproof plan. Like them, my plan often involves doing some religious thing. I don’t have an ark but surely if I pray more or read the Bible more or give more or __fill in the blank___ more, God’s got to respond and help me out. I come up with all these great plans but fail to simply talk to Him about it.
It is amazing to me that God feels absolutely no responsibility for making my plans work – no matter how cool they are.
Lord, teach me to look to You, not my great ideas no matter how “fool-proof” they may seem. Teach me to not just think about You but to actually communicate with You, walk and talk with You daily. Help me learn to not trust in my own understanding but to seek You in everything.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.