As a natural list maker, I am proud to say I’m very good at making plans. As a Christ follower, I have also worked to make sure my plans are His plans. In over fifty years of the process, I can honestly say it’s still a work in progress.
I think, if most of us go back to our 2020 list of goals or plans, probably 99 percent of us can say they were a bust.
So, what do we do when our plans go bust? Do we still trust God? Were our plans not His? What happens when God upsets our plans?
After all, didn’t God see that we had great aspirations for 2020? For me, things had been looking up. I was expecting a stellar year in my life, ministry, work, and family.
How could a global pandemic, civil unrest and governments in turmoil really be part of His plan for our good and prosperity?
And what does all this mean in relation to our faith?
My go-to verse for this situation is a favorite. It’s Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV, which says:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
It helps me to think about when this verse was written: Was it during a great time in the lives of the Jewish nation? Hardly. They were a people who had just been taken into exile. Everything they knew and loved, including their most precious Temple, had been destroyed by a pagan nation. They’d been forced to walk from their homeland to a foreign one with a foreign language and gods. So, how could the God who had brought their ancestors into the Promised Land say that He had their good in mind after allowing them to be forced out of it?
I believe the answer lies in the fact that we don’t serve a fast-food God, but one who has the whole of time in His sight.
I believe God is saying, “I’m with you even in the midst of the mess, but you’ve got to trust me over everything else.”
Only when we trust God’s plan over man’s, will we be able to call on Him with the confidence that He hears our prayers. Only then can we see Him in the midst of a pandemic, because we’re looking for Him, not earthly solutions.
So, as we sit longing for more stability and an end to a global pandemic, wondering when life will return to normal, we must remember that…
GOD MUST BE OUR FOCUS and nothing else matters.
As I write this post, I look out my window and see a gentle breeze moving the dried, winter-broken leaves of the trees outside. Maybe you’re feeling like one of those browned leaves, hanging on by a thread to the branch. Yet, anytime we see the leaves move, we know the wind is there…just like His Spirit; and that gives me hope.
How did you feel the breeze blowing in your life in 2020? I encourage you to write it down, so you don’t forget. And remember, the winter may last a while longer, but spring is sure to come.
God is here. He’s not MIA. He never was in 2020, and He won’t be in 2021. He’s got plans. He’s known them from before the beginning of time, and He is working them out. You can see it if you take time to think about it.
God didn’t leave the Israelites in Babylon forever, but it was more than a fast-food run — seventy years more, to be precise. If you think about your age right now, you may be saying, “I don’t have seventy years to wait!” Well, maybe not, but you do have today to trust Him. That’s all He’s asking.
Friends, keep living in your season of change. That’s what He told the Israelites to do: build houses, have children, seek the good of the land in which you live. That’s all any of us can do.
I choose to trust God and do good, knowing as I do, He will make himself known to me and answer my prayers. He has the same plan for you, and it’s a good one.
So, what will you choose?
God’s plans are the best, so we can rest in Him.
Grace and Peace to you.
Carol B. Ghattas is a veteran in cross-cultural ministry, a popular author, blogger, and speaker on Islam, missions, and Christian living. She served with her late husband for more than 30 years on mission fields among Muslims. To find out more or connect with Carol, visit her blog at lifeinexile.net.
This video-devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.