Lucado writes about how we make certain plans in life, but God seems to have plans of His own sometimes. 3 examples were given:
1. A man didn't find a wife until his mid-30s. They moved away and started a life with each other. 3 years later, the wife was killed.
2. A married couple conceived and turned one of their rooms into a nursery. The woman miscarried. (This one hits home, obviously, but the 3rd example is actually my favorite.)
3. Willem knew at 25 years old that he wanted to preach and spend his life in ministry. He began ministering to villagers in Belgium, and after helping the town through a mining disaster, Willem realized he "was doing what he'd always dreamed of doing." Then his superior visited. Since Willem gave his money to his village people (I forgot to mention this was in the 1800s), he lived in a hut and wore old clothing - to the disapproval of his superior. The church leader dismissed Willem from the ministry.
The author then talked about how we may respond to the moments in life when God interrupts our plans. Some reactions are good...some not so good. The man who lost his wife is angry and bitter. The couple who miscarried is praying about conceving again. Willem, the former preacher, was obviously devastated. Who wouldn't be? Why wouldn't God want him to work in ministry? Here's the rest of the story (Lucado says it so much better than I ever could):
Initially, he was hurt and angry. He lingered in the small village, not knowing where to turn. But one afternoon he noticed an old miner bending beneath an enormous weight of coal. Caught by the poignancy of the moment, Willem began to sketch the weary figure. His first attempt was crude, but then he tried again. He didn't know it, but at that very moment, Willem discovered his true calling.
Not the robe of clergy, but the frock of an artist.
Not the pulpit of a pastor, but the palette of a painter.
Not the ministry of words, but of images. The young man the leader would not accept became an artist the world could not resist: Vincent Willem van Gogh.
If that's not encouraging, I don't know what is. It may take us awhile to learn why certain things have to happen, but God interrupts your plans for a reason. His plans are better.