August 27, 2013

Uncertainty may seem like the only certainty ....but the unbelievable is believable!

I have been standing still in my quiet time hoping to find a place of peace with events, decisions, directions and plans in my life journey at this moment in time. I delved into the Word looking for application and perhaps encouragement and comfort for the future.  However, as I stood still, I was directed to my past.
This verse resounded in my mind and my heart:
“For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”  Habakkuk 1:5
Going back to school as an “older” “very middle-aged” student for a new career…
Moving half-way across the country away from family and loved ones, and establishing “home”…
Finding joy after devastating loss…
These are just three of the events in life that I probably would not have believed if I had been told as that inexperienced, filled with idealism, younger version of me.

Standing still and thinking about just these three “unbelievables” brings about revelation:

I most likely would’ve never chosen each of those forks in the life’s road if left to having my own choice as to what would happen in my life.
Looking back, it is absolutely indisputable that I am where I am supposed to be right now.  Each of these life events has brought me experiences, perspectives, life lessons, blessings, joys, and so much more that I would never otherwise have had:

The firm knowledge that I am His child.
A loving, strong, unbreakable marriage bond.
Amazing children with “unworldly” hearts.
Very special friends that have become God’s blessing of family.
“Home” in so many senses of the word.
“wealthy” (although not by worldly standards) beyond measure.

I know I am who I am today because of the “unbelievable” that was.  I have priorities in life I would otherwise not have had – as well as beliefs, values, and joy.

Even more humbling is evidence that God used these experiences, my “unbelievables”,  to His purpose for others.

As I walk through today’s issues and concerns, I may miss the hand of God at work at this moment – I may not understand how it’s all going to come together – I might be somewhat fearful, tired, doubtful, uneasy or just plain overwhelmed.  Uncertainty seems like the only certainty.  I don’t know what tomorrow holds.  But, I do know who’s holding tomorrow.  I do know that I am a beloved child whose Father knows best.  In that, there is peace…. And comfort….. and encouragement.

1 Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Romans 8:28  We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.
Romans 8:37-39  In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:10  Be Still and know that I am God.

August 25, 2013

Making plans.

It seems like a great deal of time is spent making plans:

            Who’s got to be where by when and how they get there and back.

            Making and keeping appointments.

            How to get things that need to be done, done by when they should be.

            Making goals and plotting how to meet them.

            Etc, etc, etc…

Consider what the Word has to say about planning:
James 4:13-16  “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.”
Proverbs 27:1 "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth."
Proverbs 16:9 "The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps."

Plotting a course of action.  Having a strategy or a means to accomplish a task.
Planning is a necessary part of daily life for families, individuals, work, and play.  It’s a good thing in general. But as I have been standing still with the concept of planning several “life lessons” or truths come to light:

Nothing ever really goes as planned.

Flexibility needs to be part of the plan.

Often it is only AFTER an experience, that we can understand God’s plan was different than ours … and better.  Or we may discover that the plans we have made, the process we’ve gone through, the experiences we have are really just preparation for something God had in store for us all along.
Now there’s a thought to stand still with...

Planning may become preparation for what God will call us to do. 

Perhaps when it comes to making plans for goals we are looking at, we need to keep in mind that we are actually preparing. Preparing  -  equipping; girding; readying; strengthening; training; laying the ground work… for His purpose.
Ephesians 2:10  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1 Peter 3:15  But in your hearts, revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
2 Timothy 2:21  Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Psalm 85:13  Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.

Our plans are part of God's preparation for future service. He will inform us of what service that will be when He is ready and He knows that we are prepared and ready.

Let’s pray our plans, our preparation, are according to His will.