Best-Laid Plans

January 19, 2023 | 4 minute read
Owen Scott

Polaroids of PAC Dauphin meeting together

“I’m really sorry, the buyer walked.” As a homeowner, these are never words you want to hear, especially when you’re trying to sell your home to move to where Jesus is calling you.

Amanda and I are the campus pastors for PAC Dauphin, a New Venture initiative partnering with Prairie Alliance Church to plant a church in Dauphin, MB. As part of the process, we needed to sell our home in Portage La Prairie and move our family to Dauphin. It’s a leap of faith to say yes to Jesus and follow him to a new location but we were really excited about it! We just needed to sell our home first.

We had a buyer lined up who had agreed to a good price that would allow us to purchase a home in Dauphin and take our next steps into Jesus’ plan. However, after all the conditions had been met, the buyer had second thoughts. 

The buyer walked. We were devastated. 

Jesus had called us to Dauphin, and we knew we would go. But amid all our best-laid plans, the outlook on selling our home in the timeline we needed suddenly went from good to bad. We didn’t see how Jesus was going to do it.

When we’re following Jesus, we often have moments where the floor drops out from under us, and we’re left reeling. You take your first step into the international field and realize how incredibly underprepared you are for the realities of culture shock. You finally drum up the courage to invite someone to church and they smirk at your invitation and deal you a hard no. You plan to follow Jesus wherever he’ll lead you in ministry, but then discover that your infant has a congenital issue and now you need to stay close to home.

We hear a call from Jesus. We have plans. The plans change. We’re left confused and frustrated. 

I imagine Jesus’ disciples felt the same when Jesus died. At least, when I read the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, that’s how I imagine the conversation going. It says in Luke 24:13-14 that they were talking about everything that had happened in the previous few days. I imagine a lot of that discussion was about Jesus, his destiny, and how it seemed unfulfilled. I imagine a lot of that discussion was about what would happen next. What would they do now that their hopes and dreams had fallen through?

And then—in comes Jesus.

He quietly walks up beside them and starts a conversation. They share with him the hope they had and give all the reasons why they feel like they’ve lost it. They don’t recognize Jesus, but then he does something wonderful.

He walks alongside them and he tells them the whole story.

He doesn’t drop a bunch of information and leave—he walks beside them on this journey to Emmaus. He takes time with them, enters the moment, and is present with them. It’s crucial for us to remember that, in our moments of disorientation, Jesus is still with us—walking alongside us in an unhurried way. It’s not the cheesy “Footprints” poster kind of situation where we’re suddenly swept up into the arms of Jesus, and he carries us across the beach. It’s the moment when Jesus comes alongside us, like a friend joining you for a long walk on your favourite path as you process a significant loss. In those moments, he is with you.

And then he does share information, but it’s different than what we might think. I often find myself reading this text and picturing Jesus arguing his point with the fervor of a great apologist. And to be fair, Jesus does call them foolish. But he begins with Moses and the prophets and explains how all of Scripture points to himself. This isn’t just proof-texting. He is reminding the disciples of their own story.

The story of Moses and the prophets is the cultural framework of these disciples; it’s their story. Jesus is reminding these disciples of who they are. He is reminding them of his faithfulness to them. He is reminding them of his plan and purpose for the world. He is revealing the whole story and reminding them of their story.

As Amanda and I navigated how to deal with the sale of our home, we processed everything we were feeling. We came up with plans C, D, E, F, and Z. And then, through prayer and discussion, we remembered how Jesus had done this before in our lives. Jesus reminded us how, after the catastrophic flood in High River—and being told no one would buy a house in High River for a decade—our home sold right as we needed it to. He reminded us how, before we moved to Manitoba, the market crashed in Alberta, and we weren’t sure if we’d ever sell our home in a way that wouldn’t bankrupt us. But he sent the right buyer to purchase our home and get us out to where he was calling us. 

As we reflected on our journey with him, our eyes opened again, and we saw him for who he is—the way the disciples saw him as he broke bread with them at the end of their journey to Emmaus.

Where do you need to see and remember Jesus in your own story? In times of confusion, fear, frustration, and desperation, where do you need Jesus to remind you of his faithfulness?

He will be faithful to see you through wherever he is calling you and whatever discouraging challenges you face. He will walk with you as you take each step towards the promises he has laid before you. He will show you his faithfulness.

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Owen Scott

In the winter of 2021, Owen and Amanda accepted the call to go and start a New Venture in Dauphin, MB, which will launch in January 2023. Owen, Amanda and their family have lived in Portage La Prairie since coming on staff at Prairie Alliance Church in 2018. They have three kids aged 9, 7, and 3. They love helping young families connect to the church and seeing people find restoration and healing through Jesus. To pray for or support Owen, visit newventurescanada.com/pacdauphin

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