Sunday, November 14, 2010

Plan for His Surprises!

Recently, I was talking with an eighth grade girl about her future. I listened as she rattled off this magic to do list:

1. go to college
2. graduate
3. buy a house
4. live on my own
5. get married

While I was glad to see her ambition, her list really made me think of what I'm teaching my children and what motivates my own plans. If I do believe I was made by Our Creator and was made "for His glory," shouldn't my plans be motivated by my worship of Him? If I'm following what the world sees as The Perfect Formula for a Successful Life, how can I consider the Lord's plan for my life and the special giftings He's given me?

I didn't stick to the world's magic success formula. I have no beef with you if you did. My not sticking to the magic formula has brought a LOT of struggle, but has also blessed me tremendously. God has interrupted my plans...often, very often. First, He brought a young man into my life who loved Him and it wasn't long before I was smitten and knew I wanted him to be my husband. Getting married before I finished college certainly wasn't in the magic formula, yet brought surprises - good and hard, can't-help-but-learn-to-trust-the-Lord hard. BUT, experiencing the highs and lows of our lives together made us stronger; those times deeply connected our commitment and have helped us to stay the course when it would have been easier to throw in the towel- more than once. Financially, sure we could have done more (vacations, eating out, golfing etc.) and had more (stuff: nicer clothes, cars and houses, etc.). Had we stuck to the formula where would our treasure lay? in a fat retirement or savings account, in all our stuff - Look, I know me and I know my heart- I would have been secure in my stuff and in money, not in the One who gives me breath....

I'm learning, a little more each day, to be prepared...and thankful... for the unexpected surprises the Lord brings. I can live for my plans, but will I be living for the Lord?

A little over a year ago, my husband and I made plans --plans to leave a great church and great friends and we fooled ourselves into thinking it was God's will. It has been one of the most difficult years of our lives. For awhile I convinced myself it was our mistake, and on many levels - from not deeply praying about moving, not truly seeking the will of my Father- it was our sin that brought us to this place. After the year we've had, I am realizing that what I say I believe IS really true...that it IS true that "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). As hard as the year has been, I am now confident that while we made plans to come here, it was He who directed our steps for His purposes, His big picture - one that I cannot see. He is using all this mess for good.

Because of the rough year we've had, stepping out on faith, we have resigned from our post here in Atlanta. While we desperately desire to be back home near family and friends and the music scene (the hubs is a musician), we are seeking God's will and are prepared to move wherever He leads. While I am tempted to worry as the promise of a steady monthly income fades, I must trust in the One who put me here. Presently, there are a lot of irons in the fire; one of which is exploring the possibility of working with a missions team in Prague, Czech Republic. What a surprise! In a whirlwind of being asked to come, support raising, and expediting my passport, we are booked to leave for Prague in two weeks! God used a very generous family and another friend of the family to immediately provide for the plane tickets before we'd even sent out the support letters!

I know that living in Prague has never entered my internal 'Plan of Andrea,' but desperate times have opened a crack in my will, opening my heart to this possibility. I pray that this trip will be a respite for these spirits, wounded by men and by life and I'm hoping we can discern God's will for what's around the bend. As the adrenaline swirls with the thoughts in my head, I am confident that I am safe in the center of His will as I mark off the top two things on my 2010 'to do' list..

I must expect to be surprised, I must expect His perfect provision. My hope for you, and for my children, is to realize that life is so much richer, so much more exciting, challenging and growth-enhancing when you recognize God interrupting your plans, surprising you with HIS. Let Christ lead your years, months, days and moments. Let Him book your calendar...Open up to His surprises and you will be blessed.

Matthew 6: 19-34
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Proverbs 16:1-3

But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.

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1 comment:

  1. Praying for y'all Andrea as God makes your new path known. So excited for your trip to Prague!