Hannibal Smith

One of my favorite shows growing up was the A-Team, a crack-commando unit that was sent to a military prison for a crime they didn’t commit. No worries. They promptly escaped to the Los Angeles underground, surviving as “soldiers of fortune.” If you had a problem, and you could find them, maybe YOU could hire the A-Team.

It was a fine tv show, I guess. They were all kind of the same. Someone in need would hire them. Things would always be pretty chaotic…at least they looked chaotic. The A-Team half way through every episode looked like they might actually lose. B.A. would be knocked out because he was afraid of flying and Mad Murdock had been committed into a mental hospital, and just when things looked the most bleak, the random character in the episode would remove his mask and there stood Face, the master of disguise and you found out what looked like chaos had been planned all along. 

Every episode ended the same way: when Col. Hannibal Smith, cigar protruding from his mouth, would smile and say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Here is what is interesting though. The A-Team’s plans never improved their situation. At the end of every episode, they remained fugitives…forever on the run without direction.

It’s weird to think of our lives as plans, but it is probably the most accurate description. We have all these plans for our lives and it seems the more plans we make, the more chaotic it gets. I mean, really! Whose life has gone exactly according to some plan you made when you were a teenager? I planned on being the starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls. Plans don’t work out, huh? My plan fell through for the same reason a lot of our plans fall through: we don’t really know ourselves.

I know what you are thinking. 

“Dave, who knows me better than me?”

 The answer: Only the one who created you. 

There was a version of you that God imagined when He was knitting you together in your mother’s womb. A perfect version of you. Then when you were born, a broken world started to break you. It was unavoidable. 

I floundered around in young adulthood with absolutely no sense of identity. I couldn’t find my direction. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be. As I got farther away from the dreamscape known as childhood, my options and plans began to dwindle. All of my plans failed. I am betting a lot of you can identify with that.

God has a plan. He imagined it before you were born; a plan that results in a perfect you. A you that is perfectly resting in God’s will. Jesus came to get the result of brokenness (sin) out of the way of our relationship with the Creator, and soon He will come back to restore all of that Creation (including you and me) to its perfect state.

“You mean I just have to walk through my life with this broken version of myself?”

Not at all. God has a plan. He sent His Son. In turn, Jesus sent the Spirit. Acknowledging the reality of God gives us access to the Spirit.

“What is the Spirit?”

The Spirit is a guide. In Hebrew, the same word used for the Spirit was used for the wind. If you will allow me to run with the metaphor…When we see the truth of God’s plan, we choose to follow Jesus. We take our broken shells, and limp along in his footsteps, all leading to this version of ourselves that God imagined. And when we are aligned with God’s plan, the wind of the Spirit propels us towards who we were always meant to be. We call that sanctification. 

Each day we get a little closer, inching our way toward a version of us we won’t see in this life. But in this way, we get a glimpse. You can call it a glimpse of heaven. You can call it perfection. Whatever it is, I know this: It’s God’s plan, and it’s the only plan that works.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

There is hope…and it is a plan.

God loves it when a plan comes together.


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