"When my heart is full of doubt
Feels like faith is running out
I've come too far to turn around
God will work it out
God will work it out"
- God Will Work It Out by Maverick City Music
This song has been a soothing balm for my soul since the start of this year.
We are now at the end of it and there have been many moments of reflection.
Looking back on the plans we had, the things that fell through, the missed opportunities, the relationships that are no longer, the money that slipped away, the persons that left before we could say all we should have said, all these things and more can easily fill us with deep feelings of regret, disappointment and sadness.
“But forget all that- it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." (Isaiah chapter 43 verses 18-19)
We all know that it is possible and quite beneficial to learn from our past experiences and those of others but the point being made here is that we are not to dwell on the past because better is coming... God will work it out.
What is the purpose of making plans?
2022 is right around the corner, have you made your new year resolutions yet?
The past two years have shown the entire world that things can change in the blink of an eye and even the best laid plans can blow up in smoke before we even get a chance to take the first step.
If God’s will is sovereign and He does what He wants any way then does it make sense for us to make plans?
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm chapter 37 verse 5
It makes sense for us to make plans because God has instructed us to do so. It’s as simple as that. Does this give us license to just throw together a bunch of our whims and fancies?
No it does not.
God helps us and gives us the desires of our hearts when we take delight in Him, commit everything to Him and trust Him.
Now I'm sure you can identify things in your life that you most certainly cannot commit to God with a clear conscience.
That’s a good place to start, even if you can’t itemise goals for the new year, look at how you can eliminate the things you know God is disapproving of.
God’s goodness doesn’t always feel good
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7 chapter 11
Our heavenly Father wants to give us good gifts. Our definition of good quite often does not line up with His and so in receiving answers to our prayers, when they don’t fit the outline we’ve created we feel rejected, betrayed, ignored and bitter.
We will never know the full story, never hear all perspectives and never know the end from the beginning but God does. So you see when certain doors close, relationships end, promotions don’t work out, income does not come it takes us a minute after we’ve been rocked to our core, to remember that God is working it all out for our good.
That no that you received as a slap in the face was actually a no not that one I have something better. That long wait that simply felt cruel was actually the required processing time for the next step God had in store completely blew your mind.
Write the vision, make it plain.
At the end of 2018 I made a vision board for the first time. I'm a visual learner and so referring to images and brightly coloured lettering resonates more with me than a checklist.
Did I achieve all that I set out to do that year?
Did I feel like a failure?
It is extremely deflating to look or think about all your to dos and realise a number of the boxes have not been checked off. What I found in referring to my vision board was that a number of my objectives and goals actually did get accomplished just not in the time frame or way I had envisioned.
When I created my vision board I had just come out of an extended season of hospital admissions. I had transitioned from being bedridden to using a walker to using a cane and I had not been able to drive for about 2 years (at that time).
In that state of limited mobility I prayerfully put the following on my vision board
- complete a 5k walk/run
- go on a road trip
- drive again
Can I tell you, none of those things occurred that year, in fact I ended up back in the hospital a few more times. It was devastating but glancing up at my wall and remembering the desires I had at the beginning of the year offered little glimmers of hope when I was tempted to stop praying about anything.
At the time of this writing I am pleased to tell you that at the beginning of 2020 my family and I participated in the largest fundraising 5k walk in the Caribbean. I walked the whole thing from start to finish.
Between last year and this year I've been on several road trips AND have been driving up a storm.
Now did creating a vision board magically make these things occur?
Of course not.
However it allowed me to be focused in my prayer times, it kept certain things at the forefront of my thoughts so that when opportunities arose I was able to connect certain dots and latch on.
At the end of the past few years, even though I've acknowledged all the disappointments (pandemic life has certainly brought many) I didn't dwell on them because I had visual evidence of God's faithfulness in my life. He opened doors I had forgotten I’d knocked on, He created doorways when there seemed to be no way at all.
As the year draws to a close, with so many things up in the air and several gaps to fill my almost three year old vision board is still motivating me and reminding me of God’s goodness and that fact that He will indeed work it out.
Make your plans, submit them to God and watch His hand at work in your life.
Danelle M. Pinnock first emerged as a writer when she began chronicling her journey with God, through a debilitating sickness. Her authentic reflections provided encouragement to many and resulted in her first publication “31 Day Devotional- Quiet Time.”
This full time homemaker, a proud Jamaican, lives in Kingston with her husband Raul and their two children Levi and Zhuri. Along with her freelance writing, she is a worship leader at her church and serves with her husband, a cancer survivor, on the marriage ministry team.
Visit her website, (danellempinnock.com) to learn how God guides a woman with a background in Chemistry, Business Management and Public Health to skillfully pen His methods and His ways through sickness, marriage and parenting.