The “In My Father’s Footsteps” devotions will return in September of 2019. Enjoy this devotion from the archives!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:11-13
Well this day’s been crazy but everything’s happened on scheduleCaedmon’s Call Table For Two
From the rain and the cold to the drink that I spilled on my shirt
‘Cause You knew how You’d save me before I fell dead in the garden
And You knew this day long before You made me out of dirt
This was a typical part of my schedule about 11 years ago:
8:00 a.m. Eddie at basketball mini-camp.
3:00 p.m. Kurt has T-Ball practice.
6:00 p.m. Eddie has a little league game.
Practices, games, meetings, visitations. Get ready to leave on servant event trip.
Trip to St. Louis for convention.
Ordination of my associate.
Anniversary of church.
Next year, next five years, next ten years, who knows what is going to happen? For many New Years’, my family and I would put together a “time capsule” where we trace the boy’s hands on a piece of paper, print off the news headlines from some internet news sites and also the weather for that day. Then at the following Christmas-time, we would open the capsule (it’s really an envelope) and marvel at how much things have changed in 12 months but also how many things remain the same.
The Bible teaches that Jesus remains “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” It also teaches that all things are in God’s hands, that He has a plan for each person who has ever lived.
There are times that I look back on the things that happen in my life and feel bad at what I recognize, in hindsight, as a missed opportunity. I could have said something different that might have made a significant difference in a person’s life. Or I could have not said what I said (which seems to be far more often the case).
Is that part of God’s plan, too? Does He have these missed opportunities or blown opportunities in His control as well?
I do know that when God says “I know the plans I have for you,” it means more than just He knows what I’ll be when I grow up. It means much more.
A lot of people might look at this verse and think of a grandmother who wants them to become a doctor. When I was ready to tell my family that I wanted to switch schools and majors after my freshman year of college and perhaps try to go into full-time ministry, my grandmother told me she would be very proud of her “grandson the pastor.” That motivated me to continue in my pastoral ministry studies for many years. But it wasn’t enough for me to be a pastor just to make my grandmother proud.
When God showed me that he wanted me to be His servant, that was when it all “clicked” into place and I could finally get serious about my studies (that took many years).
God has specific plans for us. He is able to work in and through all the blown and missed opportunities in our lives. He works through our weaknesses (actually, His power is made perfect in our weaknesses, see 2 Cor. 12).
Knowing this helps me to put my life in perspective. When Jesus said to not worry about tomorrow, I think this is part of what He had in mind.
I’m not gonna worry ’bout nothingCaedmon’s Call Table For Two
Cause if the birds and the flowers survive
Then I’ll make it okay
My future has been secured by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that makes a difference in my life every time I wake up in the morning. I still worry, sometimes, about my future (even more so about my kids’ future). But I need to come back again and again to the Lord’s Table and receive from Him the good gifts of grace and mercy and forgiveness – for in these gifts comes the power to trust Him with all my life.
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You can buy a paperback or Kindle version of the In My Father’s Footsteps devotions. There are also Christmas devotions that will be republished for Christmas 2019!