Going to plan…
Lamentations 3: 22-33 (NRSVA)
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for one to bear
the yoke in youth,
28 to sit alone in silence
when the Lord has imposed it,
29 to put one’s mouth to the dust
(there may yet be hope),
30 to give one’s cheek to the smiter,
and be filled with insults.
31 For the Lord will not
reject for ever.
32 Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 for he does not willingly afflict
or grieve anyone.
I was brought up to always have a plan. To work towards that plan and I’d achieve my goals in life. And…it is also wise to have a back-up plan just in case things don’t go to plan with the first plan!
The trouble is our plans don’t always marry-up with God’s plans.
I had felt God calling me into ministry. His call was clear, it was powerful, but I resisted his call for a long, long time. You see I had a career that I loved… or that I thought I loved. I applied for ministry and was accepted but I still wasn’t fully committed as I was still wrapped up in my career and the company I worked for. I’d be giving up so much. Ministry hadn’t been in my plan, or even my back-up plan. It was just a wild dream I’d had when I was a wee girl.
Then fate forced my hand and God used this time. My company was centralising my department, my position was being made redundant. If I took the redundancy I’d have enough money to support me while I studied. No more excuses. This was God’s time now, Time to trust God’s plan, God’s call. Yes, I was bereft for the life I was losing, and I grieved for that life, but I trusted that God had something wonderful planned for me in this new life of ministry. And I’m glad I trusted as this has been the greatest four years of my life…the hardest…but the greatest!
And it isn’t over yet. This past year we all have experienced dismantling, shaking, change and loss in our lives. I have too. I still am. I’ve realised plans don’t work, unless they are God’s plans. So, I’m trying to free myself of expectations, mine and other people’s, and focus on listening to God’s voice and trusting. He knows his plan.
Faithful Father God
Your mercies are new every morning
Help us to see the new beginnings, the new opportunities of each fresh morning
When our plans are falling apart
and the ground seems to be crumbling around us,
Fill us with hope and help us to see your mercies
Throughout our day
Teach us to focus on you
To trust you with our burdens
To trust you with our lives
ACTION: Listen (and/or belt out) the song Great is Thy Faithfulness.