If you have been a faithful reader for any length of time, you know that the past summer and this fall have been difficult for us. We have had a number of things that have interrupted our lives and in fact, changed them forever. We have dealt with sickness, death, broken relationships, distractions, inconvenient travel and a host of other things that have changed the pattern of how Janet and I live our lives. There are times that I wish we could get back to normal, but I’m not so sure that we even know what that is anymore.
We know that we aren’t the only ones who have suffered this year. Many of you have dealt with the same disturbances that we have had. We know several people who are battling cancer as well as several of my friends who are dealing with changes in careers and looking for ways to make ends meet. It’s a tough thing to be a middle aged person and to be unsure of how you are going to provide for your family. Thankfully, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, we have been blessed in this area and I have been fortunate to have loyal clients who have stuck with me for quite some time.
For years, though, that wasn’t the case. I remember when I was back in seminary and I dropped to my knees more than once in the school chapel asking God to provide a way for me to make sure that Janet and I could have financial security. We weren’t looking for much – just enough to get by – never dreaming that God would once again allow us to run a company that helped others and would provide for us in the process. That is my hope for so many others who are in the same position that Janet and I were in more than a decade ago.
But as I sit here this evening, I can’t help but be grateful for all the surprises that God has sent us along the way. It occurs to me that we all can get in a rhythm of life and go through the motions of living when we are, in fact, just existing. We become a little calloused and lose sight of the dreams and aspirations that we used to have. We get so stuck in going through the motions that we don’t think about pushing the boundaries and getting back to doing the things that invigorated us years ago. We become sedentary and lose sight of the hope for the future. Sometimes, we even think that our best years are behind us and that just isn’t the case. Our future is brighter than our past and I hope that you can say the same thing.
Janet and I have had this epiphany the last several weeks. And we are no longer willing to settle for the status quo. We are ready to once again start living life to the fullest. The impediments to that goal are all in the rearview mirror and we are moving ahead full speed now. The funny thing is that we don’t know what the future will hold. But we will not be limited by our own worldly views. Because God’s plans are larger than ours could ever possibly be.
Therein lies the exciting part of our journey. Yes, we are still grieving and dealing with all the hurt that we have experienced earlier this year. We are, however, filled with anticipation about what God has in store for us. I feel almost like I did when Janet and I were first starting out and had our entire married lives in front of us. Four decades later, we feel the same way. It’s good to be so jazzed. We are fortunate that God has blessed us so – and from such unexpected places. I just marvel at God’s creativity.
The verse for tonight is from Jer. 29:11, “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.” There just isn’t a verse that more appropriately illustrates how I feel this evening. No holds barred – anything is possible. Who would have thought? My encouragement this evening is that you will also dare to dream – to live to the fullest – and to wait with eager anticipation while the God of the universe implements His plan for your life. My prayer is that you will receive blessings in all the major areas of your life – family, health, relationships, financial and faith. Because just existing doesn’t fill God’s desire for your life. It’s bound to be another exciting journey. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…