There is a Plan

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This is an edited version of an older post ….

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Sometimes life can be overwhelming. It just seems like there is so much going in the same week, sometimes in the same day. When those times come upon us, we often question:

“Where is God in all this?”

“Can He see all that is happening?”

“Does He care about all that is going on in my life?”

“Is He at work?”

While the answer to each of these questions is a resounding, “YES!!”, it is the last question that I want to address. At those times when God’s work seems hidden, may we remember then that He is always at work. He is never idle. Jesus Himself assures us:

“Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”  (John 5:17 NIV).

There is never a day that God is not at work in each one of our lives.

I remembered reading this:

“God is plotting for your joy. He is planning the redemption of your brokenness.” (from “Brave” by Angela Thomas, page 138).

How good is that!!! Sure I knew that God has a plan for my life. I have heard it all of my life. But the thought that He is plotting my joy, now that was a new idea.

“Plotting” according to dictionary.com is defined as, “a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose.”

The thing about God’s plan which I often forget is that I do not know His plan for my life in its entirety. He reveals it, He works it out, He brings it to fruition as He deems best. Life seems to work best when I remind myself….

 ”For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” (Isaiah 55:9, MSG).

Did you get it? The way He works surpasses the way that we work. He does not think the same way as ourselves. What does that mean?

His ways exceed all that we can think or imagine. His ways will go beyond our ways. They will be fulfilled with excellent. His ways will achieve more in our lives. The results will ultimately be for our best because in and through it all, He is plotting our joy.

May I remember – there are times that God plots in secret. His activity is not always visible. May I also remember that invisible does not equal inactive.

“Lord, help me to trust You more. Help me to trust in Your invisible plotting. Help me to remember that you are plotting my joy. Amen.”

A Key Secret

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I am on vacation this week and so am sharing an edited older post today …

Secrets.

If we are honest, we all love secrets.

We love to tell one. We love to hear one.

There is always an element of mystery that surrounds knowing a secret. Something about it makes a person feel…. well…… better for knowing it. Perhaps that is why I loved learning a secret this morning. I will share it ……..

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:12-13 NIV).

There it is – the secret.

Let me be honest – I haven’t always lived up to the standard of this secret. I have not always been content in any and every situation. There are some situations that I have lived through and flat out grumbled my way right through them to the end. Some I wasn’t grateful for until I saw the fruit of WHY I had to go through them.

Yet in this passage, if I am understanding Paul correctly, he is saying that this is the secret, the key to facing every situation. That secret is – I need to accept it. Accept that what I am going through has purpose in my life beyond what I can understand, see or accept at the moment. He isn’t saying that I have to like it (Whew, as I would have blown it right there!) but just accept it.

As Paul lived his life in union with Jesus so he was given the necessary strength to cope with the constant pressures which assaulted him.
(Key Word Commentary by Mark Walter, Page 1113)

Therein lies the key…..

Acceptance ——> the necessary strength to cope

Today may I take this key, this coping mechanism if you would, and find strength to face every situation. The question I am asking today is…..

Am I allowing each situation to shape me and build His character in me?

May we use the key and unlock the secret!

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Tell

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Today I am joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Lots of women. We all write on the same word.

Today the word is ….. Tell-300x300

I was saddened this week to hear of the passing of Robin Williams. I thought of how many nights he made me laugh as I watched Mork & Mindy. He made us all laugh for years.

And then I remembered another life from years ago …..

She came to Bible Study almost every week without fail. She often invited several of us to her home for lunch. Lunch was always an amazing experience as you never knew who she would also invite.

She viewed lunch as a means to have others to her home to tell them about Jesus. So she would invite women she knew from around the neighborhood. Sometimes she would invite the moms of her sons’ friends. And she would ask a few believers.

She was a small Asian woman and lunch would also be a cooking lesson …. Chinese dumplings, fried rice, wonton soup.

No one ever refused to come as she was known for great food and her cooking lessons. She knew they would come and she knew they would hear as she would tell them of Jesus.

That is why it was a shock when she took her own life.

This gentle and quiet woman who loved her family and her Jesus. This one who seized every opportunity to tell others about Jesus.

I have often wondered how we all couldn’t see the signs which were not telling the full story of the turmoil eating away at her. For then we would have been able to tell her …

Yes, there is hope in Jesus.

And yes, He truly does work in and through medication.

May we be faithful to tell those about Jesus. May we tell them of His love, peace and joy. And may we faithfully tell them, He brings hope.

But may we also tell them, He has given knowledge and wisdom, opening the field of medicine to remedy things beyond our control.

May we tell them, He can bring healing miraculously. He is able.

And may we tell them, He also does some of His finest healing in and through prescriptions because He deeply loves them.

Tell them.

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tell them? (Romans 10:14, NLT)

 

Today I am joining … Five Minute Friday, Everyday Jesus, Faith Filled Fri., Friendship Fri., Essential Fri., Fellowship Fri.Fulfilled Fri. .

 

Plans, Hearts & Whales

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This week started an online study of the book of Jonah. You know the one – the fish story. I have heard this story so many times, starting from very young being in Sunday School. And yet, there was more to be learned ….

God gave Jonah a very specific task to do, even giving Jonah details of what he was to say. He was to go to the people of Ninevah and announce judgment on the people due to their own wickedness. Pretty succinct. Very clear as to what Jonah was to do. And mind you, it was God Himself telling Jonah.

What does Jonah do?

“But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.” (Jonah 1:3, NLT)

Wait! God tells Jonah what He wants him to do and Jonah’s response?

He got up and went in the opposite direction.

His hope?

To get away from the Lord.

His goal?

To escape from the Lord.

Before I get too hard on Jonah, I have been just like Jonah at times in my life. Perhaps you have as well. It amazes me how we can go our own way and think we are OK because we are still serving God or doing good. Our plans may be noble, admirable even, but … they are not God’s plans.

If I am not serving where God has led me, or instructed me, then I am running from God just as Jonah did. I am no different than he.

It is God’s plans I am to pursue and run after, not my own. He knows in full all that He is desiring to accomplish in my life and yours. His plan may not make sense to me. I may not even like it. But it is His plans which are best.

Praying today for my heart to always align with His.

I really do not want to go on a whale watch :)

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Today I am joining …. Thought Provoking Thurs. and Tell His Story and Quitting Thurs. and Thurs. Favorite Things and Thrive at Home and Hearts For Home .

 

 

Longing For More

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Life is a progression of varied sorts. We progress through school, getting promoted from one grade to the next based on performance. We desire progression with our careers – going from one to another using the previous job as a stepping stone, hoping for income increases or job promotions. We desire to progress from apartments to houses to McMansions. OK, maybe not that one as I don’t desire to do more cleaning, especially windows :)

We have this drive for MORE.

We long for MORE.

But what if this longing for MORE is God given? What if He planted it in each of our hearts so we would long for more of Him?

I wonder how often I have missed what He has had for me as I longed for MORE or perhaps went in search for something other. Can it be there are times we already have the more or are in the place we should be – but don’t even know it?

Can it be the MORE, the sacred even, is found right in the middle of our everyday experiences?

Can the MORE we’re looking for be had in the very place we currently find ourselves, but misplaced longings cause us to miss it?

I’m thinking of Jacob who lay down one night to go to sleep. Sleep – a normal and needed and everyday occurrence.

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“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely The Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” (Genesis 28:16, NLT)

The Lord can invade every space, every moment in time. In the very place we are, in the happenings of today, He can show up, invading our lives with MORE of His Presence. Jacob’s response was to set up a memorial, to worship and praise God for His provision in his life. The memorial was to serve as a reminder of God’s Presence and to point the way for future generations.

It could be we are on holy ground already. We may well be in the place of blessing. The place where God will fill our longings and we may be totally unaware. We may be already positioned in the very place where God will show up and give us MORE.

And the MORE He will give us is …

MORE of Himself.

MORE of His blessing.

 

Today I am joining … Three Word Wed., Wedded Wed., Wed. Prayer Girls, Whimsical Wed., Works For Me, A Little R & R.

 

Decisions, Plans & Intents

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Decisions.

I so dislike them having to make them as I want to make them wisely and do what is right before God. And so it brings struggle …

I don’t do the dry fleece, wet ground and dry ground, wet fleece as I don’t have a fleece in sight. Not mocking, just saying.

To be honest, I struggle equally as much when those I love are in the midst of making decisions. Sometimes I wonder if I take the process way too seriously.

In the midst of my current inner struggle, I have learned a few things:

  1. There is a plan and He does direct our steps. There is comfort in this for as each of us rely on Him and seek His plan, He will reveal and bring direction to each one of us. “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
  2. Mental confusion will occur in decision making days. We can rest assured, He is with us right in the midst of those days. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8) He brings clarity of thought.
  3. He receives our cares & concerns. We’re never left to hold the load on our own. Perhaps He created us unable to hold it ourselves so we would be dependent on Him alone.
  4. While we will never be trouble-free, our lives will have meaning.

I continue and read ….

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel – that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)

“But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.”
(Psalm 33:11, NLT)

Intentions, according to dictionary.com –> “purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct“. Synonyms include … “objective, purpose, motive and struggle.”

Did you notice the last synonym? I don’t think it is coincidental that the intentions of the Lord do not come minus a struggle. Perhaps the struggle is great because His plans are greater still. The enemy would do anything to get us off course from the intentions God has for each of our lives.

This morning my soul found peace knowing that as we each seek Him, His plan for each of our lives will be fulfilled. I found such relief in knowing He is intentional towards each of us and will not be shaken from His intents. He positions us where our gifts will be used to bless and grow others in Him.

“The Lord will work out his plans for my life – for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” (Psalm 138:8, NLT)

Today I am joining Unite and Testimony Tuesday and Playdates With God and Titus 2 Tuesday and Titus 2sdays .