Spiritual Director · August 23, 2017

Devote #89

Do you remember that project you decided to work on?

You did all the research… studied long hours on how to do it properly… got all the materials… started the process… and then everything went wrong.

Everything you tried to do to fix it only made it worse. It was a complete flop. Remember?

Maybe it was something as simple as learning how to bake bread. Or maybe it was something much larger like an extended vacation, a relationship, a career.

I remember one time we had planned a family vacation. Everything was set. The destination was all planned out. The bags were all packed. We were on the road. On that trip we blew 3 of the 4 tires—all at different times. We spent a lot of time getting towed, waiting in shops, frustrated, and weary.

Maybe when your situation went south you thought to yourself, “I did all that for nothing.” And the truth is, maybe you did.

I know that sounds a bit weird, but the Word of God really spoke to me this morning. Read this,

“You expected much, but received only a little. And when you brought it home, I made that little disappear. Why have I done this? It’s because you hurry off to build your own houses, while my temple is still in ruins. That’s also why the dew doesn’t fall and your harvest fails. And so, at My command everything will become barren. Your farmland and pastures, your vineyards and olive trees, your animals and you yourselves. All your hard work will be for nothing.” —Haggai 1:9-11

I know that sounds harsh, but if you really believe the Word of God is true, living and active, then what is God saying to us today?

Well, that seems pretty simple to me. Could it be there are things in my life that don’t work out the way I planned because I’ve totally eliminated God from the picture?

Since I didn’t start with Him, focus on Him, even ask Him… could it be it wasn’t meant to succeed? Could it be that when I expected a lot to happen and nothing happened, did God withhold it from me because He had different plans? Was He trying to get my attention? Was He trying to show me a better way?

The Bible says,

“We make our own plans, but the LORD decides where we will go.” —Proverbs 16:9

Do you believe that? Is there enough room in your life to allow God to have access to every decision, every movement in your life? Do you trust Him even when what you worked so hard for doesn’t pan out?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

That which you planned for and worked hard for, that did not come to fruition, didn’t happen for a reason. Trust God. He always has a better plan and yes, He always knows best!

Help my plans to be Your plans. I want to be in step with You, not stepping away from You. Jesus I ask this in Your holy name, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.