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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

THE PLAN for Your Life

You know, so many people talk about fulfilling a plan, and I totally respect that. But, how about those of use who believe someone has a plan for us, yet we just aren't sure what THE PLAN is? I'm not talking about a plan for professional development, a plan for financial security, a plan for parenthood, or a plan for secure retirement. I'm taking about A PLAN, some quintessential reason for God putting us on earth in our particular situations. The Bible spells out a definite map for THE PLAN. It is a very easily understood way to behave, tried and true. Here it is. Joshua 22:5 may be paraphrased as to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul. That, in itself, is a pretty big order. Still, I'm wondering about more specifics for THE PLAN. I like author (also known as "The Stress Buster") Mary Southerland's idea that the most powerful ministry flows "from a clear life plan not to it."After having suffered from severe clinical depression, she realized that we desperately try to avoid pain and tough circumstances when we need to embrace that pain, knowing God will use it for good. Again, we must live from His plan, not to it. Southerland contends that the amazing truth is that even if we were never wanted or planned by human heart and mind, we were planned and wanted in the heart and mind of God. A large part of stress is the result of misplaced expectations, requiring the people and circumstances in our lives to meet needs only God can meet. In the meantime, stress "applauds and dances in delight" because we keep on "doing" instead of "being." ( Mary contends that we need to counter culture's pressure on us to "do it on our own" and merely accept God's gift of stress-free living. We can only do this by trusting in Him completely, especially in these times when personal and family needs are at the bottom of our priority because we let stress put them there. So, what about THE PLAN? As radical or as foreign as this idea may seem to us, THE PLAN is simple acceptance. It is already there for the taking in the wake of anything life throws in our way. Is it faith in a broken dream? Perhaps. Southerland tells us, "God is drawn to broken people, choosing the most broken to do His highest work." Counting on grace as we live from the plan God intended means we are humans being THE PLAN. It is not God’s plan for us to dwell in fear or for fear to rule our lives. We must accept that and let that become a part of us. What could be a better heavenly GPS system? His plan for me has been a life mapped before my first breath.
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