God’s Will

By Elizabeth Thomas

“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

Are you someone who likes to plan? Or would you rather go with the flow? Are you someone who maps out your life, every decision or choice? Or are you someone who sees where the road takes you?

If you are like me, you would rather have a plan. I think human beings, in general, crave consistency and stability. We like to know we are in control of our future. The hard part comes when our plans fail, or get interrupted. As we all know, life doesn’t always go according to our plan.

In Kid’s Klub this past week, we focused on the Lord’s prayer and God’s will. In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. First, He acknowledged God as His Holy Father, then He said, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) He taught His disciples that when we pray, we shouldn’t start by laying out our plans or focusing on our will. We should start by accepting God’s plan, and set our will aside. Jesus knew how to approach God with the right heart. Although it is extremely difficult, God wants us to let Him guide us, not the other way around. It is so easy to come to God with your plans and desires and ask that He fulfill them. It is much harder to come to God and ask Him to lead you.

God is still teaching me to let Him lead me.

I have often laid some of the best plans (in my opinion) only for Him to change everything and send me in a completely new direction. Sometimes I feel lost and confused because I don’t know where He is leading me. But I know He is teaching me to trust Him. I am learning that until I submit to His plan, I will never know peace. If I continue to question His will, I will never be content.

Have you ever questioned God’s plan for your life? Have you ever been confused or wondered why He is allowing something bad to happen or why He is keeping you from something? I think at some point, all of us question the will of God. We have a plan set out for our life and when it doesn’t work out, we question God. Why would You let this happen to me? Why can’t You let this work out for me? Why are You doing this to me?

But He is not doing anything to us. He has done everything for us. He sent His Son to die for us. He made a way for us to have a relationship with Him. And He knows His plan is perfect. All He is asking is for us to trust Him.

I won’t say that I have learned this lesson completely. I still struggle to trust Him, especially when His plan doesn’t make sense to me. But I believe what it says in Jeremiah 29:11. I believe that God’s plan is to prosper me, not to harm me. I know that God’s plan for my life is perfect, even if I don’t understand it.

What about you? Are you still holding tightly to your earthly plan? Or are you ready to give up your will and trust Him?

When God Has Other Plans

By LuAnn Edwards

Isn’t it amazing how God can use us even when things don’t go the way we planned? If we are willing to follow Him, He can use us in any situation. He sometimes surprises us with what He can accomplish through us.

In June, my husband and I along with my sister and her husband took a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We loved spending time together and realized how much we are alike. Since we live 1500 miles apart and do not get to see each other often, our time together was very enjoyable.

I originally planned this trip to be a time for my husband and me to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. When I told my sister that Ken and I were taking a trip to Michigan, she asked if she and her husband could join us. I told her yes, but in my selfishness, I also told her, “It will be great to get away just the four of us.” That was my way of saying, “Please, no grandkids on this trip.” My sister’s grandkids are precious and spend a lot of time with her. However, I wanted this to be a “grown-up” trip only; after all, this was our anniversary celebration, right? I had it all planned!

The Lord had something else in mind. In the end we had my sister’s oldest grandson, along with other family members totaling 15 people! It turned out to be a wonderful blessing!

God’s Word says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). God did work; He worked in the heart of a nine-year-old boy, my sister’s grandson, Tey.

Tey was a pleasure to have along. He hiked with us, didn’t complain about the food or mosquitoes, and seemed to like hanging out with his Great Aunt and Uncle. We were all so proud of him when he was sworn in as a Junior Park Ranger and received his badge.

Tey was so open to our praying before each meal. He wasn’t accustomed to doing this at home. He thought it was so special that when he received his meal before the rest of us, he said he couldn’t eat until we all prayed. He even volunteered to pray a couple of times.

Something simple, this prayer of thanksgiving before a meal, spoke to his tender heart. Upon returning home, he taught his brother and sister to pray before their meals too. My husband sent Tey a recording of Bible stories that he is listening to and sharing with family members as well.

I am thankful Tey was able to join us on our trip even though it meant a change in my selfish plans. Only God knows what He has prepared for this young man. I am expecting great things and feel so blessed to have shared in just a small part of it.

God uses our testimony to influence those around us. Our consistent life with Christ will shape our eternal legacy. This legacy is an investment into the lives of the next generation for the cause of Christ.