God’s plan for Onesimus and Philemon were not exactly what they had picked out for themselves. I don’t think it would have been in Onesiumus’ thought process to return, and I’m fairly confident it wasn’t in Philemon’s plan to accept him back with open arms. Also, they probably didn’t plan on being converted. Be that as it may, there was still a plan set out for them.
And you know what? It was a pretty good plan in the end. A little unconventional, but the results were pretty fantastic (I think, at least). So it reminds us that even when our life plan seems to make no sense, God is completely in control and he will make it beautiful in the end. It’s hard to trust, yes, but there is a beautiful story to tell on the other side.