When I was a teenager I used to pray about my future; “Lord, whatever you have planned for me, I pray that I will love it.”
I prayed that prayer for a long time and in truth, He gave me an attitude of joy and pleasure in whatever He brought my way. There were plenty of changes as I journeyed from my teens into my twenties but I was young (and single) enough to enjoy the variety of paths before me.
Years later I entered the foreign mission field and in my heart, for twelve years, India was the last stop for me.
Then the Change came.
My plans changed.
The plans I had for the rest of my life changed.
If you have ever worked with clay, you know that it is pliable. It conforms to whatever shape the master potter chooses. Clay changes form. The Master makes the decision, not the clay.
I am clay.
I’ve found this truth to be comforting as my life has gone through drastic changes over the years. He is Lord. I am not. He gives the work, I work. There is a freedom in not needing to hold tightly to how and where I serve.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5 (NIV)
It can be frightening and draining to experience change – especially change that is unexpected and unasked for. We so easily fall into the trap of thinking that we know best. As I started to experience dramatic change in my own life a few years ago, every fiber of my being resisted. God, in His mercy, gave me a year and walked me through the changes step by step.
Even so, my heart still resisted, and when I could not consider leaving loved ones behind, leaving my work behind, I heard the Lord speak to my heart, “Rebecca, I cared for these people long before you ever came here, and I will care for them long after you are gone.” The work was His all along. I had mistakenly begun to think of it as mine.
Then I was free. My heart, at last, became soft toward the change.
My life, and the lives of my children, is drastically different from what it was even a few years ago. Yet I can testify that those youthful prayers continue to bear fruit.
Whatever you have planned for me, I pray that I will love it.
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.” – Psalm 102: 25-28 (NIV)
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