With each new year, we typically make plans. 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.
However, I think if most of us go back to our 2020 list of goals or plans, probably 99% of us can say that those were a bust. What does that mean in relation to our faith?
Were our plans not his? Did he go for a global reset? That’s an interesting thought, and as much as I’d like to chase that rabbit, I’ll stay with the initial focus: What happens when God upsets our plans?
My go-to verse for this is a favorite:
Didn’t God see that I had great aspirations for 2020? Things were looking up, and I was expecting a stellar year in my life, ministry, work, and family.
Could a global pandemic, civil unrest, governments in turmoil really be part of his plan for my good and prosperity?
Can I trust God anymore after this?
Think about when this verse came about? 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. How could the God who had brought their ancestors into the Promised Land say he had their good in mind after allowing them to be forced out of it?
Because we don’t serve a fast-food God, but one who has the whole of time in his sights.
So, here we sit, longing for governmental stability and a vaccine to be available to everyone yesterday, thinking it will solve all this mess.
Instead, God says, “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.
GOD MUST BE OUR FOCUS — 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.
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 some time to think about it. How did you feel the breeze blowing in your life in 2020? Write it down, so you don’t forget. The winter may last a while longer, but spring is coming to be sure.
He 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!” Maybe not, but you do have today to trust. That’s all he’s asking.
Keep living in your winter 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.
What will you choose? I choose to trust God and do good, knowing as I do he will make himself known to me and answer my prayers. He’s got the same plan for you, and it’s a good one.
Grace and Peace