"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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, " and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
In this world we are continuously pressured with preparing for the future: how much money you should save, what career and life goals you should set, what life mile markers you should reach, etc. Likewise we feel the same pressure regarding the past: how much money did you save, what goals did you attain, what life mile markers did you check off, etc. Sadly (and all too often) we let these pressures drive our lives and cause us to lose focus of the future that really matters.
As I have mentioned I am going through one of ‘those’ seasons; the season where it’s sometimes hard-to-smile-even-when-you-want-to-kind of seasons. I’m sure you’ve been here. It’s the kind of season that has me praying, “Hello, God! Remember me?” I know in my heart that He has not forgotten me but what is He waiting on?!
I recently found myself eating at a Chinese restaurant. I’ll admit this is not my favoritist cuisine, but the company was excellent and they kept the soda fountain on until we left! There is, of course, one perk to eating Chinese: fortune cookies! Whether you like to eat them or not is irrelevant to the simple satisfaction and amusement, albeit short-lived, you receive from what that 2” x 0.5” piece of paper reads.
This particular night was no different than any other. I ate my food all the while eyeing the basket of fortune cookies up on the counter. When the time came to open our cookies I hastily popped open the wrapper, cracked the cookie and read what it said:
Nothing! I had NO fortune!!!
This should be amusing to you, the reader, for obvious reasons. But had you been there with my friend and me, you too would have burst into the same fit of laughter as we did. You see, shortly before partaking in our fortunes I had declared: “I’m going to stop planning out and picturing my future because it never pans out the way I want it to or imagine.”
See the irony in my fortune-less fortune cookie?
In my past I have always made the most elaborate of plans; plans on who I would marry, where I would move and live, where I would be working (or not working at all!). Trust me, if I had it my way I would not be single, living back at home and working as a receptionist at the age of 26. However, God usually has something different up His sleeve for me and while I can’t always see it clearly at the time, His plan is ALWAYS bigger and better than I could EVER have imagined. A more correct declaration would have been: “I’m going to stop planning out and picturing my future because with God’s hand it ALWAYS pans it out better than I could EVER imagine.” So, while I don’t understand the reasons for this season of my life I am thankful for all that I have learned and experienced on my own, parents who let me live in their bought air and feed me from their pantry, and a job that pays my bills.
A few days before I moved out of my apartment and in with my parents a friend stopped me and said these simple facts: “God is getting you ready for something BIG. You will have no lease to break, no boxes to pack and no bills to pay; you will be ready to go.” That has stuck in my head for months now and I have clung to those truths. God IS planning something big and although I can’t see or understand it now I have faith that He is still preparing me for the Bigger and Better that is about to come!!!