“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
1st Corinthians 2:9
It’s that time of year again. Numbers are crunching, spreadsheets are printing. Budgets are due for approval. Every year is the same thing. For about 3 months I am covered (especially mentally) in reviewing the activities and expenses from last year, making adjustments for next year and hoping the money comes in to cover all my ministry expenses. And I love it!
For those who know me personally, this is an odd statement. The last thing in the world that I could ever be accused of is loving paperwork. But it isn’t the paper that I love. It is the sense of hope and excitement about what God is going to do in the year to come. Every year I am asked to submit not only a budget, but a ministry plan for the following year. I have always tried to map out every offering, event, or campaign at least a year in advance to make sure we have the resources to make it happen. Church finances (for those of you that don’t know) are always 1/4 what you know, 1/4 what you guess, and 1/2 what you pray for.)
But the longer I do this job of helping people on their faith journey, the more I realize that my plans aren’t the ones that matter. I have learned to let go of the wheel and let God do what He does best: surprise me. He forms ministry where once there was none. He brings people from places I have never heard of. And He creates opportunity to share the gospel in the most unlikely places.
I am so excited with the anticipation of what God will do next, both in my church and in my life. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to be witness to His wonders. I have learned from experience that His plans are so much better than mine. I cannot conceive of the blessings He wants to shower over the people in this community, through this body of believers.
God has a heart for families who are struggling. He has a heart for those in need. He has a heart for the lost. And I am amazed and humbled year after year as He entrusts His resources to us to be used in ministering to those who need it. I have seen Him do some wonderful things, miracles in fact, through the church universal. And to be a part of His movement to touch the world is the most compelling reason I can think of for my own existence. Because nothing that I can come up with on my own can even come close to what He has in mind.
Do you have that kind of excitement over what He is doing in your life? Do you have a vision of that path He wants you to follow? Friends, one of the best things that we can ever do is to surrender our plans in favor of His. His love is extravagant and His grace is boundless. Have the faith to receive what He has for you, and then share it with a world desperately in need of hope and encouragement.
There is a new year coming, for our families, our jobs, our finances, our health and our relationships with God. Let go of the wheel and see what He will do for you and through you.
In the name of the Son I pray,