Saturday, October 26, 2013

Planning the Future

I love when God intervenes in my plans for bible study, and this week was one of those weeks.  We were discussing this week what happens when God's plan differs from our own.  I always try to come up with some kind of activity that works with the lesson, so I decided to pair up the kids and have them work together to create something without communicating.  I picked paper airplanes, which turned out fantastic.  Each pair was asked to make a paper airplane by making one fold and then passing it to their partner for the next fold.  They couldn't share what their plan was, and some pairs worked better than others.

My first partner got very frustrated when I made a fold that wasn't in his plan, and actually raised his voice to tell me that I wasn't doing it right.  I laughed out loud as he made the point that I was planning to make later in the discussion.  When God makes a fold that isn't in our plan, we usually get frustrated.  I told the kids beforehand that they were not allowed to unfold what their partner did, and it forced them to adapt to the unplanned fold of their airplane.

Our lives are like the paper airplanes we built.  We build our lives with God, but when our plan differs from God's, we can get frustrated or we can try to work together by following God's lead.  Something we forget is that God is the master airplane builder.  God knows how to build the perfect airplane, but our cooperation is required.

Romans 12:2 states "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s [plan] is—his good, pleasing and perfect [plan]. (NIV)

God does have a good, pleasing, and perfect plan that is sometimes not what we have planned.  I read a story in a devotional recently about a woman named Linda.  Her story was about her plan to become a medical missionary - a good plan that would probably be pleasing to God.  Instead, when she was fourteen, she acquired bacterial meningitis which put her in the hospital for a large portion of her childhood including an entire year at one point.  This was obviously not her plan, but instead of staying frustrated, she trusted God and God's light radiated from her during her hospitalization.  She tells the story with wisdom, saying that her mission field as she intended was the hospital, but she served God as a patient, not a doctor.

This was hard for the kids to wrap their minds around, as many of them have indicated that they'd like to help kids someday who have been in their situation.  I reminded them that they can do that right here.  They can serve God as a young person in the way that they want to serve God in the future.  Laura Story sings a song that has been so inspirational for me recently.  If you sometimes feel that God has abandoned you, I hope that this can give you a new perspective.  The chorus is below along with the YouTube video.  I hope that its message is as powerful for you as it is for me. :)

What if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise




2 comments:

  1. Inspiring story.

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  2. Jerrica,

    Thank you so much for this post! I am going to meditate more on Romans 12:2 this week. I loved the devotion that you shared here. It can be hard to make peace with the plan that God has for us because it may not be what we expect. This post is a nice reflection on God's perfect planning ability and our need to chillax! Merry Christmas! Darlene

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