Every year about this time, I attack the pantry. This year was fabulous. I bought all these new containers, labeled them and took the 14 (yes, 14) different types of sweeteners and the 12 (yes, 12) types of flours and put them into the lovely, labeled, air-tight containers that stacked together.
I sat back and viewed my pantry with great glee. It looked just like something off of HGTV. When my husband came home, I proudly showed it off. He looked–and I saw a gleam of pride in his eyes at my amazing feat of organized domesticity. He then negated it when he said, “but how long will it stay like this?”
I looked him dead in the eye and responded, “until SOMEONE, other than me, messes it up.”
The Lord must have just been laughing himself off of His throne in heaven when He heard those words leave my mouth.
You see, Jeremiah 29:11 says, ” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord.” In the past, I have reworded it to “Lord, I know the plans I have for you,” says Deanna. Somehow, like my “organized” pantry, these plans never quite work out as I imagine.
Ok, we get it. The Lord’s plans really are better than our own, but HOW can we tell the difference? We have trained our minds to scream our personal desires so loudly that it drowns out any other voices.
1 Kings 19:12 says the Lord speaks in a still, quiet voice. Numerous times after that it adds another descriptor–peace. The Lord can speak directly to us in three ways–through His Word, through His Holy Spirit directly to our heart and through other people. The test for each one of these is:
- Does it line up with His Word
- Does it bring peace
Phil 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ.” That is the ultimate test. When faced with a decision, there is something that our minds might say makes sense–it follows what we have know in the past to be true or what we read in our management textbook in school. However, there might be another way that seems crazy. When we pray about it, that “crazy” way may bring a feeling of indescribable peace.
Sometimes I wonder why the Lord chooses to use crazy, unusual ways of making things happen. Why are His plans sometimes so outside the “normal?” The answer is US. We are designed to worship Him. If prayers are answered in spectacular ways, we acknowledge His Glory. We are able to SEE Him in action. If it happens in “normal” ways, we may discount it or ignore His hand in the action. We may start taking credit for our own actions…
” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8
That is such a beautiful reminder that the Lord’s “organization” of our life is ever so much better than the one we might create. However, it doesn’t stop there. Isaiah 55 paints such a beautiful word picture of exactly what the Lord envisions for us:
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.” Isaiah 55:9-13
It just doesn’t get any better than that. Today, my friend, may you feel loved and a true peace in knowing that He, not you, has got this!