15th July 2020
'2020 has not turned out as I had expected'
You can make many plans, but the LORD's purpose will prevail. (Proverbs 19: 21 NLT)
There is a saying, 'What makes God laugh? People making plans.'
It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has not turned out as I had expected.
Yes, I had great plans, to visit my daughter and her family in Germany,
to go to Austria to see the Oberammergau Passion play,
time to spend with my son and family; the list goes on ...
But then a virus swept through the entire world changing all our lives.
Although I have always been a planner,
cautiously taught to prepare for the worst, just in case,
never in my wildest dreams did I expect or plan for this.
The thought of living through a pandemic never occurred to me as a possibility.
Yes, there had been the Asian bird Flu and the SARS virus;
but they were the other side of the world, in Asia,
nothing to do with us in the West.
While I've dealt with heartache and pain,
financially and in personal relationships,
I generally expect God to protect me or come to my rescue -
and he has time and time again,
although the outcome often hasn't been as I expected.
But over this crisis God has been teaching me to adjust my expectations.
It's so easy to get wrapped up in what we want in our hearts,
but especially in things that have gone beyond our hearts
and into our schedules.
But even when our plans go awry,
God will use all this for good.
It may seem like an upheaval, it may seem unfair,
it may seem as though we are living a giant game of Snakes and Ladders
where we are sent swirling back to the beginning after nearly claiming victory.
But victory can be found in heading back up that ladder,
in the waiting, in the shifting and redirecting.
Because sometimes, as we are sliding down and hitting the bottom,
we remember the one who is always waiting to lift us up,
help us refocus and redirect.
Sometimes our minds are so fixed on what we are expecting
that we cannot see the truth of Jesus right in front of us.
Jesus was the fulfilment of all the prophecies,
but because he didn't look or behave like the people were expecting,
they rejected him.
When things do not line up with my expectations,
my default response is to just reject it.
It simply doesn't fit, I don't see how it's going to work,
I don't understand it; so I end up frustrated and afraid.
Does this sound familiar to you?
It's in those moments that God reminds me that,
'You can make many plans, but the LORD's purpose will prevail.' Proverbs 19:21.
Regardless of whether our expectations are met or not,
God's purpose will prevail and God's purposes are far greater than our expectations.
So if we feel we're at the bottom of the slide today
let's seek God's direction and purpose for our next move.
The plans he has for us are far greater than any plan we could ever dream of.