Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” (Matthew 16:21-23)
Yesterday, I saw a little girl trying to fit an envelope in her father’s back pocket. At first, she just tried to slide it in, but the envelope got stuck before it was very far in. She was confused. Why hadn’t her envelope fit in her father’s pocket? The pocket looked big enough to fit almost all of the envelope. She decided to try a different tactic. She grabbed the envelope out of the pocket and carefully measured the pocket with the envelope, proving to herself that the envelope should actually go farther into the pocket. Once she had done this, she again tried to put the envelope in the pocket. When it got stuck this time, rather than being confused and wondering what had happened, she kept pushing on the envelope until it finally went in as far as it could.
Sometimes we take our lives and use them the way the little girl used her envelope. We imagine something in our life happening a certain way, but we forget that there are going to be difficulties and things that get in our way. Most importantly, we keep forgetting to check our plan with God’s plan. It’s like trying to fit the envelope in the pocket.
The girl thought her envelope would fit, but she didn’t prove it to herself before she tried. When we make plans for our lives, we should always make sure that they fit in with God’s plan. If we don’t, we’ll run into the first obstacle and back down from our plan. And backing down doesn’t necessarily mean give up. It could mean that we throw a fit, get angry, or become annoyed at whoever or whatever got in our way and blame it. However, if we check our plan with God’s master plan for us and make sure it fits, once we run into those obstacles, we’ll be ready for them. We’ll know that our plan fits with God’s and that we should keep going and push through the obstacles in our way.
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to You.” Saint Peter had a plan. His plan was to live with his Lord all his life. He didn’t want Jesus to leave, or to suffer. He just hadn’t checked that plan with God’s.
“Get behind me, Satan! Your are an obstacle to me.” Christ had checked His plan. He knew that He was doing the right thing. When Peter tried to get in His way and became an obstacle, Christ rebuked him turning away from this plea to give up His plan.
“You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Humans beings can be controlling. Sometimes we have a desire to change things and make them better. This is a good desire, we just have to make sure we’re thinking about it as God would. Humans make plans and then fall apart when obstacles confront them. God makes plans knowing that obstacles are going to come He and provides a means to overcome the them. Then when the obstacles do come, He works around them with ease. See? We’re not “thinking as God does, but as human beings do.”
So next time we make plans, let’s go about it the way God want us to. Make the plan, check it with His, prepare for obstacles, and work around the obstacles when they come.