Tag Archive: Purpose

Enjoying the 2021 Ride

Grace Fox is an author, speaker, coach, and global worker. She taught a meaningful class on writing devotionals at a recent Christian Writers’ Conference I attended. As this one resonated with me at the start of this new year I asked, and received, her permission to share it with my readers. May it encourage your heart. Thank you Grace!

Last year at this time, my 2020 schedule was nicely planned. Everything changed within a few weeks. Spring and fall women’s retreats—gone. Ministry trips to Poland and Romania—gone. Easter, Christmas, and visits in-between with the kids and grandkids—gone. 
 
Life shifted for the whole wide world. Travel stopped. Salons, gyms, restaurants, and schools closed. Church and medical appointments went virtual. People lost jobs, homes, and loved ones. Who could have imagined?
 
Now we stand at the start of 2021. Any guesses on what this ride might look like? In the midst of the uncertainty, I’m confident that God is still, and always will be, in control. I don’t need to understand the circumstances He allows, but I do need to trust His wisdom and sovereignty in the details.
 
Patsy Clairmont says, “Relinquishment says above all paths, plans, and people, I will deliberately rest in God’s superintending of my life. I will chart my course to the best of my ability and watch as God fills my sails and compassionately involves himself in the direction my life ultimately takes. This assurance gives me the hope that allows me to lean in and enjoy the ride.”
 
Two thoughts come to mind as I consider Patsy’s words about enjoying the ride: First, we need to hold our plans loosely. As she said, let’s chart our course as best we can, but let’s allow God to direct us in the way He knows is best. 
 
Second, let’s hold tightly onto God’s promises. They give us stability when everything around us shakes. Here’s one that seems appropriate for the time in which we’re living:
 
And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone. (Isaiah 42:16) 
 
Choosing to rest in God’s superintending of our schedules results in the ability to experience contentment even in the face of disappointment. It reduces stress, and it increases flexibility and peace.
 
Here’s a practical action I’ve found helpful: At the outset of every new year, I ask God to organize my schedule for His glory. Last year, He removed the things I mentioned earlier. He replaced them with time with my mother before she passed away, time to babysit my toddler granddaughter, and time to write a new book. His ways leave me in awe.
 
So go ahead—ask God to superintend your schedule in 2021. Hang onto the hope that His purposes are good. Then lean in and enjoy the ride.
 
 
Know you are loved,
Grace

(c) Grace Fox. Used with permission. www.gracefox.com

BUT GOD …

P1090285Like most of us, I want to live with purpose. And yet at times I find my purpose wavering … I’d like a rest; I’m not equipped to deal with that issue; that person’s pain is too much for me to handle.

But that’s the beauty of God’s empowering. Many challenges are too much for me to handle. I am inadequate. I don’t know what to do. But our pastor reminded me this weekend that God will enable me if I take one step at a time, believing He will meet me at the next one.

I experienced many God-moments when my first husband was waiting for an organ transplant in Florida. Three thousand miles from home, we needed housing, local support, and insurance approval. In one email to friends I expressed the challenges we faced, then listed some of the ways we had seen God’s empowering.

“We are in big trouble on our own (health, costs, housing, ongoing tests) … it isn’t a bed of roses …

BUT GOD … allowed Jerry’s test results Friday to be positive, removing a potential obstacle to transplantation …

BUT GOD … ensured final dollar authorization for the dual transplant …

BUT GOD … led our California pastor to connect us with Pastor X here in Gainesville, with whom we’ve already started to have wonderful fellowship and support …

BUT GOD … led Pastor X to follow up with us and to allow us to share with his church body, which is actively responding to our needs.

BUT GOD … has shown us His faithfulness over and over through people we’ve met, the kindness of strangers in antique shops who’ve offered us housing or suggested resources, and by giving us incredible opportunities to connect with people and share our lives and His faithfulness with them.”

Dr. Helen Rosaveare was a single missionary working in the Congo from 1953 to 1973. During the political instability of the 1960s she was brutally gang-raped by rebels. As she tells it, during that terror one word kept recurring in her mind. “Privilege.” She had the privilege of suffering for Christ. That is truly beyond one’s capability, strength or adequacy.

But GOD empowered her to survive that and continue to minister for Him.

Grace. It’s all God’s grace. It’s not good when someone is raped, murdered, terminally ill, depressed, or insecure. But it is grace, the grace of God that shows up when we most need it, that empowers us to take one step at a time, experiencing His presence which then empowers us to take the next step. Sometimes I think I’ve done something of value … but Rene reminds me that it is all about the grace of God. He uses our availability even more than our ability.

So what are the “But Gods” in your life? I’d love to hear.