God’s infinite wisdom and provision in our life never ceases to amaze me! Just a little over 24 hours ago I started with a blank canvass-with not even a thought as to what God’s plan might be for this season of my life.
Then suddenly my mind was saturated with an abundance of words so much so that still the plan was not clear. I rushed to my journal and the archives of my mind to find the answer. Although, this confirmed my understanding of God’s purpose for me; He challenged me to listen more closely and discern his desires from my own.
As this picture developed from a pile of leaves into a beautiful tree I realized that despite its simplicity it captured many elements of righteous living. It represents a life long plan-a journey requiring a change of attitude and gratitude on my part.
I have always dreamt of being a teacher and feel alive when I am teaching Sunday School. Sharing God’s Word awakens my passion and joy for the Lord. Earlier this morning, as the sun was rising across the river I sat quietly in the chapel and waited for God to reveal himself to me….sitting still has always been a challenge for me, especially without a journal or bible in hand…I am a visual person and the written word often speaks to the deepest part of my soul revealing the direction I am to go next. So here I was stepping out on faith without immediate access to the written word left to listen for the still small voice of God.
Throughout the week, likely in preparation for this very exercise, I was called to meditate on Psalm 111. As indicated in Psalm 111, reverence for God is the beginning of wisdom, before I can proceed to the purpose God has called me to I must first begin to lay the Foundation; I am to become rooted in the word through meditation, prayer and worship. Furthermore, I am to praise God as indicated in Psalm 96 by singing about Him, telling others about Him and giving Him the glory for everything in my life. I am to rely on the trinity in partnership with who I am to fulfill the plan and the purpose God has for me.
His plan, in this season of my life, is to equip me to be a teacher of His word. To touch those in my circle of influence; my children, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the people I meet along the way.
The picture we created is representative of the season I am approaching; a season of preparation. It is the first season of many.
The tree demonstrates everlasting life. It is steadfast, strong and courageous-it doesn’t sway in the worst of storms. It has much to offer in every season; whether it is bearing fruit, providing shade or simply being a living example of God’s creativity. I strive to be like this tree: joyful in hope, patient in times of trouble and faithful in prayer.(Ro ) To do so, I embrace the cross (Jesus), open my heart to God’s unconditional love and surrender to the Holy Spirit.
The dove represents the Holy Spirit; its voice convicts me to let go of the dead leaves-the debris, bad habits, old self that I have carried into this season. With His help the old is blown away and replaced with an abundance of new leaves-with growth and increasing grace, faith, love, peace, joy and ultimately wisdom. Everything I let go of is replaced with more of God-How refreshing!
As I learn the truth of God’s word I will blossom for His word will be hidden in my heart allowing me to continuously walk in His ways (Ps 119:11). By becoming disciplined in fairness, mercy and humility (Micah 6:8)
and putting into practice right living (Phil 4:9) I will be stepping out into the role God has carved out uniquely for me.
This plan may seem incomplete as it doesn’t clearly refer to how and when it will be done however God in His wisdom has shared some of the next steps along this path. He is asking me to seek Him above all else(Mat 6:33), surrender my burdens (Ps 55:22) and fix my thoughts on His truth(Phil 4:8).I must give God the reigns and allow Him to use me as a living example. I must also be willing to encourage others by sharing my personal experiences of his love and faithfulness. This means being obedient, seeking His will (Prov 3:6) and trusting Him with every area of my life while committing my ways to His (Ps 37).
God’s plan, I have learned, is a process-part of my journey not simply another task to complete on my list of things to do.
I am thankful for the wisdom He has imparted to me during this weekend. He has also revealed that despite all MY efforts and MY planning life is not a dress rehearsal; it is the real deal. I have to live it-make it count and give the glory to God.
Published May 2009