April 9, 2012. That was THE date. I made my checklist and devoted time to finish a big project.
March 8, 2012. Things fell apart. Major fell apart. A crisis rocked our extended family and all my plans were set aside, rightly so.
Finally, in late June I began working on the project again. We’d begun to settle into our “new normal” and, while the ripples of hurt and loss still shook us periodically, we were all finding our bearings.
I set the new date: July 16, 2012. I worked hard to check the remaining items off the list. But around every corner it seemed a new roadblock was thrown in my way. I began to doubt my way. I began to wonder if I’d failed to hear the Lord’s direction. I began to give up.
Been there? Can you relate?
Proverbs is one of those books I fall into. I have spent the better part of the last 12 years reading a chapter of day of this book of pithy truths and observable wisdom. Last week, as I read these verses stood out to me:
Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
I had gotten stuck on my plans … my desires, my dreams, my goals. But I was reminded that God’s purposes are always designed to bring Him greater glory.
Today is July 16. THE day … the day my book, Prayers from the Pews, is officially launched. My plan was both Kindle and print versions ready for the masses to purchase today. That didn’t happen. The print version will be available in 2 weeks (I hope!).
I struggled this week, feeling frustrated by all the issues that came up … until I was reminded by a dear friend that this book is a threat to our enemy. This book, this invitation to pray through Scripture for the Bride of Christ, is wholly intended to encourage others to love the church the way Christ does.
God has not been caught off guard by weird printer instructions and software issues and last-minute insanity on my part. Not for one minute has His purpose been thwarted. My plans? Oh they’ve been rearranged, readjusted, and reworked. But His purpose? Steady and sure.
That is the lesson I needed.
What lesson did you learn from your reading this week?
If you’d like to purchase a copy of the Kindle version of Prayers from the Pews: The Power of Praying for Your Church, I’d be most honored. 10 chapters about my own journey of learning to love the Bride of Christ, each ending with a prayer, are designed to remind all of us that church is more than programs and location—it’s the Body, in all forms and with all kinds of flaws, that Christ loves. I’ve included 30 prayers based on the book of Acts as well as a reading plan for Acts and discussion questions for your small group. You can purchase the book on Amazon and read what others are saying about this message.
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing why I believe we needed another book about the church. I’ll share about chasing my dream on Wednesday and how having parents who believed in my dream is certainly a beautiful thing on Thursday.