It’s a new year friends! It’s easy to be optimistic at this time of year. Everyone seems to have plans...plans to be fit, plans to be more patient with their kids, plans to be the best version of themselves, plans to read their Bible, plans, plans, plans.
If I’m not careful, I find myself planning how I want God to move. Thankfully, God doesn’t roll that way. His plans triumph over my plans...and as humbling as it is to admit, His plans are always BETTER.
In the beginning of John 11, Jesus found out that Lazarus was ill and waited two days before departing to see him. I love the way The Message puts it, ‘Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days.’ (Sidenote, isn’t it funny how we sometimes look at God’s way as “odd”?) He told his disciples that Lazarus was asleep and He needed to wake him up. His disciples didn’t get it and…then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.” John 11:14-15 MSG
When I first read that verse, “YOU’RE ABOUT TO BE GIVEN NEW GROUNDS FOR BELIEVING” jumped off the page right before my eyes. I sat there reading it over and over and over. So many times in my life, I have expected God to move in a certain way. I had my “plans” but often times life happened and my “plans” got kiboshed.
At our second year of Illuminate Conference (sidenote, get registered if you’re a woman/girl!!) we wanted to give the girls each a rose. To stay within budget, we ordered roses from the States but those roses got held up at the border the day before the conference. I found this out Saturday morning and was saddened as it was too late and too expensive to figure out another option for the girls.
Little did I know, God had it all covered. And in it all, he was GIVING ME NEW GROUND FOR BELIEVING… The church randomly received a phone call that Saturday, a local ministry was donated 66 dozen roses, they didn’t need them so they called GT to see if our girls’ conference wanted them. Yes, you heard right.. 66 DOZEN ROSES! God turned our measly attempt of 100 roses to 792. In that crisis, seeing God go ABOVE & BEYOND most definitely GAVE ME NEW GROUND FOR BELIEVING!
If Jesus had come as soon as he got word that Lazarus was ill and healed him from the sickness, everyone would have missed out on the incredible miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave.
Maybe there is something you've been praying about for awhile, or a circumstance or trial that you're facing and you've started to lose faith. I just want to encourage you to keep hoping, keep trusting, and keep waiting on Jesus. He's going to answer that prayer...maybe not the way you want Him to answer but in His way....which is so much greater than what we could have planned.
If God gave me those 100 roses all those years ago, the girls at Illuminate would have been blessed but God loved us too much to just do that...he gave 792 roses and in turn all of the girls (including me) experienced a great miracle and saw God's crazy, extravagant provision and love. His plan was so much better than my plan.
Give Him your plans for 2020 and if things don’t go the way you expect, remember that He is God and He is at work and could be setting you up to give you NEW GROUNDS FOR BELIEVING.