ODJ: unplanned change

January 8, 2016 

READ: Psalm 37:1-24 

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives (v.23).

Flying back from a weeklong trip to Brazil, my husband and I received an unexpected text. The message from the church’s financial secretary revealed that a certified letter from our county’s board of education had arrived. Having planted a church that met at a local high school, we knew the letter had something to do with our rental agreement. For more than a year, it had been the place our church family called home each Sunday. Our dismay grew when we received the contents of the letter—the board wasn’t going to renew our lease for the building past the end of the year, just 3 short months away.

Shocked, we hurriedly considered other venues, only to find ourselves further discouraged. We had planned for change and unpredictability. We had planned for the inconvenience of a shared facility. We had planned to leave behind all that had been familiar. But we hadn’t planned on this . . .

Plans are far more than wanderings of our imagination. They’re doors of hope to what we believe God would have us do. David knew the importance of giving our plans to God: “Commit everything you do to the Lord,” he wrote. “Trust him, and he will help you” (Psalm 37:5). Instead of being overwhelmed by the change, it was important for us to “be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act” (v.7).

Surrendering our plans to God doesn’t mean He will fulfill them the way we would like, but He does direct our “steps” and knows “every detail of [our] lives” (v.23). When we trust Him in the midst of the unplanned, He takes the places of unexpected change and transforms them into opportunities for us to grow our faith. And He promises never to let us “fall” even as He leads us “by the hand” (v.24).

—Regina Franklin

365-day-plan: Genesis 11:1-9

Read Genesis 22:2-14 and consider how Abraham’s willingness to trust and obey opened the door for God’s provision. 
How have recent circumstances impacted your relationship with God? When you find yourself struggling with doubt, how do you find renewed hope? 
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