What are your Plans?

Some reflections from the Life Journal reading this morning…

Scripture:  I Chronicles 28

Observation:  King David was near death and a successor was needed.  His closest confidantes, Bathsheba and Nathan, go to his beside to let him know….”it’s time”.  David already knew what to do. The Lord had already prepared him for this day.

God had blessed David with success in battle and now the Lord had plans for a time of peace in the land.  That time of peace was for a specific purpose: so the people could build  a temple for worshipping the one true God.  The Lord had already chosen Solomon (David’s son) to lead the building of this temple while he served as king.  David had the vision, he had the plans and he had the faith. He had walked closely with God and he had listened along the way.  God has shared the vision with him. and God had equipped the people all around to the work for the time ahead.

David’s advice to Solomon as he passes this mantle of leadership on:  “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” (I Chronicles 28:20)

The concrete project in Guatemala was started because the dust storms would throw dirt all over the outside walls of the school. The people said, "we need to concrete it in" Norris said, "we can make a way for you to do it".

Application:  As I read this what I see in my mind is Guatemala, a couple by the name of Norris and Fran Allen, and plans.  Norris is the leader for the work and teams from our area that have been going into Guatemala for several years. I’ve only just recently come to know him.  He and Fran were in my office a few days ago…on May 2nd. They had just returned from a trip the night before and I was leaving for a trip the day after. We had sandwiched this meeting in between so I could hear their history and dreams about Guatemala and I could share with them my experience from the most recent mission at La Toma.  It had been difficult to schedule it in for all of us.  Sarah from our church’s team met with us. I’m so glad she was also there!

Norris brought water system plans and drawings. He brought stories written on paper and stories written on his heart.  Fran shared dreams and an obvious joy for God’s faithfulness as she could see the unfolding of continued vision. We looked at pictures. We spoke of the future. We imagined plans. We said we would pray about it and talk to our friends in Guatemala and finalize whatever seems to be best for future work.  We were all blessed in this sharing.

The plaque on the wall at La Toma School showing appreciation for the vision and collaboration of the Guatemala Methodista Church, Norris and the teams from TN

Over this past weekend Fran experienced a massive stroke.  Suddenly the conversation we shared a few days ago has become more poignant and more urgent. I find myself recalling every word she and Norris said…looking at my notes and praying I remember everything.  What strikes me this morning as I read the scripture is that God works things out. God has plans. Our role is not to do the planning so much, but to be open enough to hear and brave enough to follow whatever God gives each of us to do.

I returned from Guatemala on April 18th, almost a month ago. People have asked me several times, “what are your plans?”  I smile and say, “I’m listening and praying”.  It’s not so much about what we want (David wanted to build the temple but God chose Solomon for that part), it is rather, about paying attention to what God is planning and simply follow the Creator.  Period.

This is an old suspension bridge over the river that has been replaced by a nice paved bridge. Not sure why the old one was left hanging but having it visible there speaks to me of new paths for peace, health and friendship.

Prayer:  Father, please be with Norris and Fran. Please be with the people of Guatemala. Please keep me open enough to always hear my part in your work on earth, courageous enough to follow you and humble enough to see your plans. I love you.

Yield:  No need to ever worry about the future. God’s got it covered.

2 thoughts on “What are your Plans?

  • I am reminded of a beautiful thought in a prayer by Oscar Romero: “We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. … We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.”

  • So powerful….. reinforces the conversation/prayers a committee planning/praying for a Session retreat last evening. Be it undo to us according to your will dear Lord…. let it be, let it be, let it be!!

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