What are your plans for...? by Karen Maio
Sometimes our plans collide with God’s. He always wins and gets his way...and that is a good thing because he tells us “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“ (Jeremiah 29:11), and he promises that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28),
At times, one can see the “good” right away, for example an opportunity I was looking forward to arose but was then removed from possibility. Though a little disappointed, I can already see that it would have consumed too much of my time, time that I know can be better spent (writing devotions or songs, practicing with the choir, enhancing my prayer life, spending time with my family, cleaning behind the stove). God was working for the good.
Other times, one cannot see the “good”, only the seemingly “bad”, for example the friend who was diagnosed with cancer and has a long, painful road ahead of her. Yet God continues working for her good, too.
God encourages us along the way, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). Contextually, this passage refers to the apostle Paul encouraging Timothy to boldly continue spreading the gospel despite the hardships they faced. But whatever hardship, trial, or disappointment we face, we can be strong because we can trust in God’s grace, his undeserved love. We know that through faith in our Savior, Jesus, there will be that promised “good”; there will be that happy ending - maybe here, most definitely in heaven. Trusting in Christ’s love for us and his promise to be with us through whatever comes our way, we also know that we can feel peace in our disrupted plans or on our painful journey.
Lord, when things do not go the way we would like or the way we have planned, help us remember that you love us and are all-knowing and can see the big picture of “good” you have in store for us. Grant us peace in your presence and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.