August 26, 2004
Encouragement for Today

"I Never Saw It Coming!"
by Luann Prater
Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member and Author

Key verse:

Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV)


Devotional:

One night while driving to church, I asked my then 16-year-old daughter, "What is your favorite thing about living, right now?" "That's a great question!" she replied. She pondered a moment and then began to reveal what made her life tick.

"This is an incredible time for me...and I never saw it coming." she said. "This year is less about proving myself and more about being myself. It's a beautiful spot. I laugh every day."

My heart smiled as I clung to those thoughts. She had so much more to share, but these words stuck in my mind like flypaper. For a junior in high school to sort out what's real from what's fake, what's true from what's false, what's important from what is worthless, is exciting stuff for a mom.

She made very deliberate decisions when she entered high school two years earlier. The most important one was asking God to lead her through decisions about dating, classes, choosing friends and choosing work. Her rationale: why allow your life to be jerked around by emotions that you are neither prepared nor ready to handle. Turn it over to God and anxiously anticipate the outcome.

And in her junior year, those tough choices began to pay off. Her peers respected her for who she was and what she stood for. She saw life as a beautiful spot, one to be enjoyed and savored. And the remarkable part is she never saw it coming.

God expects us to wait in eager anticipation of the plans he has laid out for us. When we become adults, we often crowd God out of the plan. We take jobs, we choose mates and we raise children without checking first with the plan-maker, God. He has given us a brain, so surely we can figure this out on our own - right?  Why risk the emotional upheaval wrong decisions can make when we have a heavenly father with the perfect plan?

Pray today that every decision is made through the filter of His perfect plan. Then one day you can say, "Wow! I never saw it coming!"


My prayer for today:

Jesus, we are such control freaks. We think we have the answers, but Lord, we know nothing of the future. Only you can take us to the place of unexpected anticipation. Give us strength this day to hold on and believe that your ways are not our ways. Father, lead me.


Application steps:

On an index card, write these words:

"I surrender my future plans and dreams to God and I pledge to seek his direction each morning before my day begins." Then sign and date it. Place it where you will see it each morning. 


Reflection Points:

What am I doing to manipulate my future?

Where is God trying to lead me?

How can I be prepared to follow God's lead?


Power verses:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you flow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off.  Proverbs 23:18

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.  Psalm 9:10 (NIV)


Additional Resources:

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/radical.html

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/womanlistens.html