Last year two big events stood out on our calendar. The birth of our third grandson and the marriage of our youngest son to his lovely fiancé.
Scans showed that the baby was growing well and mom was healthy, if somewhat tired and nauseous.
Plans went ahead for the wedding—venue booked, perfect clothes bought and a sneak peek at the wedding dress made the fairy story real. Everything but the fittings of suits was arranged. Teaching was hectic but not more so than usual. My plans, my dreams for a happy year with normal family events were coming true.
Then . . .
- Our daughter was robbed of her cell phone.
- Our daughter-in-law and two grandsons were in a serious motor car accident.
- A few weeks later, while this family were at a holiday resort, three armed men held them at gunpoint, stole money and phones, then stabbed my son.
- Soon after this we had confirmation that this family were to emigrate.
- Two more family members were involved in two more separate car accidents.
- Another daughter told us she was pregnant. The father of the child wanted her to have an abortion. What rejection, what pain.
My well-planned, secure world tilted.
Heartache set in, with numbing anguish clouding my days. Not one of my plans had included these events.
Baby Matthew arrived and we celebrated his birth. The wedding was all that we hoped it would be. But my heart ached. What about my dreams, my plans?
Then I read about Naomi in the book of Ruth.
She had dreams and grand plans. A husband, her sons’ weddings and the hope of grandchildren. Death intervened and Naomi named herself the Very Bitter one.
But God was working out His plan.
Naomi never saw the outcome of the full plan of God. She did get to hold a grandson who grew up and became the grandfather of David. And Ruth—a foreign daughter-in-law—is listed in the family line of Jesus.
So sometimes my plans and my dreams are just that—mine. But they are not always God’s plans for me.
The plans of the Lord stand firm for ever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. – Psalm 33:11
What comfort to know that God’s plans are unwavering.
I love the next line of this verse. His purposes are from His heart, not cold, calculating or unfeeling, God’s purposes come from His heart. And they carry on through all generations.
How reassuring to know that even a little baby, initially considered for abortion, is part of God’s purpose. His heart knows about that life forming in my daughter’s womb. He has a purpose and that purpose will go on to the next generation.
With 2014 ended and a new year begun, take a look at your list resolutions, easily made and quickly forgotten. Consider your plans, your dreams. Then ask God to take your hand as He shapes and directs your days this year. There is no safer place to be than in the centre of His plan and purpose.