“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
As the new year begins, many people are making plans for the next twelve months. They make resolutions to lose weight or to exercise more; to donate more to charities or to start an emergency fund; to seek a new job or to buy a new house. And quite often, these resolutions are never fulfilled.
photo credit: David Boyle in DC
The weight loss works well until we begin getting a craving for pizza or a cheeseburger. Our exercise program gets neglected when we realize there's no way we're going to do a hundred push-ups every morning. And our increased charity giving gets replaced with buying more stuff. We look back and realize all our well-laid plans never came into being.
I remember making plans in college to start a performing arts ministry. This ministry would have had actors, singers, musicians, and dancers who would travel the country sharing the gospel through the arts. A few months later, I realized God had different plans for me when I ended up on a ventilator and started living in a long term care facility. At first, I hated the change of plans and even turned my back on God for several months. But as I look back, I understand that God never meant to harm me. He desired me to grow in Him, no matter what my outer circumstances may be.
I'm beginning to learn that God's plans are always better than my own. He truly wants the best for me, even when I can't see it. My circumstances have given me the wonderful opportunity to write, which I may not have pursued if I fulfilled my plans.
I don't know what plans God has for you. But I know they are wonderful plans … “plans to give you hope and a future.”