Recently I have embarked on a Journey. Well. I should say ANOTHER journey, because, so far, my entire life has been quite the journey, bordering on the fantastical, if not exceeding it entirely! In fact, I am writing this from the waiting room of an “Urgent Care” facility. I am here because a dear friend of mine needed medical attention which will require that she have a driver to get her home.
Of course, I brought things to do, and one of those was my journal, which has different scriptures at the top. A bit of encouragement, with which to begin one's day. Today's just happened to be – Jeremiah 29:11 which reads …..
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (KJV)
Immediately I was overwhelmed with the pin-point accuracy of that scripture as it hit a target in me, and touched my heart so profoundly.
I've known this scripture since I was knee high to a grasshopper (that is southern, old age talk, for very young and very small). But, being that The Word of God is ALIVE, it frequently lands as a BRAND NEW revelation, even after years of rumination. And that is exactly what happened this morning.
Suddenly it was as if I could hear HIM. Personally sitting by me in the next chair, saying – “Listen kiddo, I HAVE PLANS FOR YOU! GOOD plans. Not terrible plans. Plans to aid you in overcoming EVERY obstacle in you life, NOT plans to continue the disasters that you have gotten used to! I PLAN to nullify and destroy those! I Plan to Perform a MAJOR SHIFT, to negate the DRIFT. I PLAN to bring you OUT of every difficulty, bondage and affliction that has ever targeted you, because THOSE WERE NOT FROM ME!!!”
I GOT IT! I can't begin to understand why it was clearer this morning, than the over 50 years since I first memorized it! But it WAS. And I looked up from where I was sitting, and the sun was just breaking over the horizon, clearing clouds, as if to say, “See? This is what your future looks like”. And a great SHALOM just settled over.
Suddenly, my praying, under my breath, for my friend, and the other suffering people in the waiting room, had an added air of expectation. It was like my Faith gained another level, right then. And I heard The Spirit of God asking me - “So, which plans are you going to follow?”
WOW. Yeah. I realized that it is still up to ME to decide to BELIEVE and then RECEIVE all that goodness. I can ignore it, and just continue in the drift. I can avoid His Shift. I can resist the changes – which may be difficult. I can continue to give way to the impossible, and not let HIM make it possible for me. I can stay right here in my tolerable misery, and be forcibly content, until He deems it time for me to transfer off this God-forsaking planet. OR. I can shake myself loose. Give HIM my intentional, undivided attention, and let HIM help me to new heights of glory!
Will that be hard? Yes. For fallen flesh to be transformed there is another level of dying to that flesh. That is perceived, by our limited filters, as “HARD”. But. Is staying here in a sense of slowly dying daily – not in a good way – better? Not to me. No longer. “I die daily” is supposed to be a sentiment intended for the flesh. ONLY. We “die” in Him, to the Flesh (and it's narcissism), to be RAISED with Him to newness of life.
So. Basically we must decide how much life we want, and which “death” to which we want to be subjected, at the end of this temporary existence.
We will ALL "die" one day. In the most generic sense of the word. One day, life on this planet, for us, will cease. Either we will succumb to something, or age out, or He will come in the clouds and we will go to meet Him! Here, there or in the air! We will move from here to there! So, it comes down to choosing the destination after we leave here.
There are only TWO choices - death or life. To refuse to choose HIS LIFE, HIS WAY, intentionally, is to unintentionally choose default mode, which is death.
On this planet everything is hard! So I think I want to go with HIS hard. Because at least His hard comes with blessing attached to it. His difficulties lead to eternal life. So temporary ease and eternal torment – or temporary difficulty with eternal rewards? One must be a special kind of stupid to choose the default mode y'all.
I am thankful that His mercies are new EVERY morning! Yesterday I pitched hissy-fits all day, because the change was bringing challenge. I was melting down, blowing up, accusing, questioning and k'vetching ALL DAY. Due to a future challenge I am facing which triggered a very OLD filter.
Suddenly I was overwhelmed with a feeling of shame, that brought indignant offense, and an immediate distrust of my precious God, who had led me to that challenge. I kept trying to repent, only to fall back into the negative thoughts.
Inwardly, I was rolling my eyes like my four-year old grand-daughters, throwing my head back, yelling, “NOT AGAIN!!!!!”
And this morning He answered, in His kind, gentle, undeserved way, “NEVER again!”. Today, this new revelation of HIS GRACE to me, His PLANS FOR ME, has erased ALL of that angst, all of that shame, all of that fear – which was, of course, the root of it all.
Now, instead of being overwhelmed with negative feelings, I am full of JOYFUL anticipation at what HE has in store. I am FULL of GRATITUDE that His GRACE covered my attitude! I am SO relieved. SO encouraged. SO ready to just go face whatever this next season brings, because I now BELIEVE that HE has GREAT PLANS FOR ME!
I can't wait to see what it all includes. The last time He broke one of these negative paradigms seven wonderful people came into the world! (Not at one time thought! lol It took over 14 years, thank heaven!), but it was STILL a highly significant miracle.
So I am really excited to see what aspect, of HIS idea of BLESSING, THIS season is going to bring.
So with that grateful sigh of relief I leave you all with His Shalom.
Selah, Haverim – I ask you, whose plans will YOU come into agreement with? ;)