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His Plan

“For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 HCSB I’m going to be very honest right now... I was glad when Covid 19 kept me home from college. I was drowning in stress and loneliness. But I was terrified when Covid 19 turned the future into one big unknown. I had thought I was growing stronger in my faith, thought I had seen a lot of improvement lately. But when every plan and expectation melted in the midst of a chaotic catastrophe of pandemic, I felt my fear in every nerve like a vise around my chest and a pounding in my head. I learned that I can trust God with the details when I have a good plan. But when I don’t even have a plan? Not so much. And then there was school. I ground my way through the last weeks of sophomore year with sheer will power, which I didn’t have much of. It’s a mercy I did well in my classes, truly God’s grace. And all through school, recognizing my fear of the unknown, and navigating the uncertainty and stress that even going to the grocery store has begun to stir up, fear of failure has haunted me: “I’m a failure for not trusting God. I’m going to fail if I can’t force myself to do my work. I’m a failure if I don’t do enough to get the best grade possible. And now I don’t known what the future holds. So what about my plans? What should I try to do? What should I let go of? How do I move into the future? I’m not going to make the right choices. I’m going to fail!” My mind has not been a happy place lately. But this old familiar verse, Jeremiah 29:11, and the subtle but startling truth its neighboring verses hold has given me a Rock to cling to and an Anchor to keep me grounded when I cannot hear the still small voice over the howling winds of change, trial, and the enemy’s condemnation. God has promised that He has a plan. I don’t. But He does. Does remembering that work like a magic stress relief pill? No. But somewhere in my soul I take a deep breath when I remember that. God has promised that His plan is not harm us but to give us a future and a hope. And I know what that hope is: Christ in us, the hope of glory. We are going to be made into the image of Christ and share in His inheritance of glory for eternity. Though they don’t feel small right now, Paul was right, “Therefore we do not give up....For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17) Now here is the part that isn’t so familiar. God has just said, “I have a plan.” Now He lays out what His plan is that will convert us into the image of His Son and earn for us an eternal weight of glory: “You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” His plan is that we seek Him and that He will reveal Himself when we do. This chaos. This fear of failure. These uncertain times. Whatever I face when I wake up. Whatever you are dealing with today and unsure about for tomorrow. All our junk and all this pain can become a tool of God to bring about His good plan if we simply choose to seek Him in it instead of run away and hide. Are you lonely? Tell Him. Are you scared? Be honest. Are you afraid of failure? Afraid of not being enough? Of being too much? Or of being unloved or unloveable? Whatever fears you feel and lies you believe, go to Him and pour out your heart at His feet. Ask Him to remind you of the truth. Ask Him to show you Himself. Ask Him to be near. Ask Him to hold you. I can’t promise you will feel completely better or your problems will go away. But I can promise you that your soul will be renewed because if God said it is His plan for you to seek Him and if He promised to be found, there is nothing more sure than that you will find Him. “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 HCSB

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Anderson University Women's Ministry, Anderson, SC   

womensministryau@gmail.com

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