Perfect Plans

This job is bigger than me. I know it's true but somehow keep trying to live like it's not. Keep trying to squeeze it into some form of daily management, neat enough to fit on a piece of paper. But how do you do that when your job is the molding of hearts? When you have no idea if today will bring calm or crisis? It it will fit into your plans or blow them to smitherines?

I've been studying the ancient story of Esther with my friends. If anyone was ever called to a task bigger than herself, she was! An impossible place squeezed in by a pagan culture's traditions and values. External beauty, pride, power, hedonism, and hate all combined for a volatile environment.

But God had a plan. It required amazing courage on Esther's part. She was incredibly vulnerable, but she knew who she was and what she had to do. And she saved an entire culture. To this day, she is celebrated annually by Jewish people in the feast of Purim.

I'm encouraged by the story because, while on most days I'm not facing imminent rejection and death, I do carry a load of responsibility every day that often feels too heavy (picture me cartoon-like flat on the road under a great big boulder). And I know you do too.

We each have our own realms of influence. Our kingdoms. From one day to the next they can enliven us or threaten to suck every ounce of life right out.

But like Esther's story, God has a plan for ours. Impossible circumstances are the perfect ingredients for His work in our lives and the lives of those we love.

I do need to make plans. If I don't plan no one will ever get to basketball, play rehearsal, Bible study, or the dentist; learn math, history, science, and English; or eat half-decent meals and wear clean underwear. But as I plan, my hope needs to remain in the Lord and not get transferred to my plans. That way when the "plans hit the fan" as they so often do, I won't be undone.

Like Esther, you and I are called by God for "such a time as this" in our own kingdoms. This job is bigger than us. But as we walk in courage sustained by faith, we will see God's perfect plan unfold.

And, who knows, we might even get to save a culture . . or at least a few kids.

"The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." ~Proverbs 16:9

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." ~Proverbs 19:21

"'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

What are your "kingdoms" . . your realms of influence? What evidence have you seen of God working out His plans in these places?

I love to hear your thoughts. You can comment here, by email, or on Facebook. Thanks for reading!

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