I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that I planned many times
to visit you, but I was prevented until now (v.13).
As a fisherman on Lake Michigan (one of the
world’s largest freshwater lakes), I’ve had to
change my plans on many occasions. Stormy
weather or high waves have forced me to resort to a
Plan B: either canceling the trip or limiting my fishing to
the safer waters of a harbor or smaller inland lake. It’s
not the end of the world, but it’s not ideal.
In his letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul mentioned
that he had planned many times to visit them (Romans
1:13). For many years, Plan A was to travel to Rome
and remind the Christians who lived there of all that’s
involved in the good news of Jesus. Again and again,
however, other circumstances and ministry objectives
prevented him from making the trip (15:22). So Paul
eventually resorted to Plan B—he wrote a letter and
shared what he initially wanted to present in person.
That letter is what we know today as the New
Testament book of Romans.
When Paul finally sat down to write his letter, he may
have been tempted to think he was settling for Plan B.
He likely wasn’t aware that he was about to pen a letter
that would change the world.
One of the more fascinating subplots surrounding the
book of Romans is that if Paul had gone with Plan A,
we would not have one of the richest books in the New
Sometimes our plans fall through and we have to go with a Plan B. And, yes,
it can be inconvenient and frustrating at times. But try to keep in mind that God
knows the bigger picture. Like Paul and the book of Romans, what may seem
like Plan B to us has really been God’s Plan A.
It was quite an adventure, but Acts 27–28 records how Paul eventually
arrived in Rome.
What Plan B are you aware of that God turned into a true blessing? Why
is it vital that we seek God’s way instead of forcing our own?