Wednesday, May 27, 2009

HDG: His Plans

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”

This is a cross that hangs in my living room and it has, at times, been full of loaded words to me.

That was my fault. Not the fault of the words.

The thing is, being human, we really always want to make everything about us – what we want, what we desire, what we choose to hear. I see the words stating there is a plan to prosper and not harm me, and it’s hard not to think, “Really? Did you miss me in line on the day when the whole don’t-harm-me-prize was handed out?” Because let’s be real. I live in my body everyday. It’s been harmed.

But the thing is, these words were the Lord’s, not mine. He stated them with His heart and His intentions, not mine. Wanting to put my own interpretation on them is my problem, not His.

I felt this way to some degree when the Prayer of Jabez was popular a few years back. I am in no way saying that prayer was bad… it wasn’t. But there were people who would email me the prayer with the intent that it was a magic charm or something. That I would be healed, that my financial troubles would disappear, that all prayers are answered and I would get all I wanted.

Oh, how we want to fix the suffering. The problem is, we want it to be fixed our way, in our time, and by our standards. I think the prayers are good, if we put God’s expectations on them instead of our own.

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”

There are times I can read this with my eyes, and I wonder where my prosperity is. Where is my job, my career, my purpose? I can wonder how His plan is not to harm me. My body is broken, my abilities are diminished, my physical self is kept captive in my home.

But then I read the first line again. He knows the plans He has for me. Not the plans I have for me. Not the plans I wished for myself. His plans. For me.

He has plans… it’s up to me to trust that. It always boils down to trust.

I can look through His eyes and see how I have prospered in the midst of my life. I have greater friendships and support than anyone else I have ever known. I have found companions in all of you. I have a home that provides me security and safety from the elements. It’s my comfort and my safe haven.

Through God’s eyes, I am not harmed. I do have a body that constantly attacks me, but my spirit is more than strong. It is safe and content and securely at peace. I have been prospered and protected. That in and of itself gives me hope and a future. And all of that is possible because I choose to trust His plan.

The amazing thing is, that’s just what I imagine His eyes to see. All the little things and big things I am sure I miss everyday with my human eyes are seen by His. And I trust that He’s taking care of it all.

All I have to remember to do is get out of His way… to let His eyes guide my life instead of relying on my own limited vision.

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To win today’s canvas, simply leave me a comment before midnight CST. I’ll let you know the winner in tomorrow’s post. [Only one comment per person, please.]

60 comments:

  1. One of my favorite verses.

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  2. House on RancheroMay 27, 2009 at 5:41 AM

    My friend, i love ya!

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  3. Great verse and great observations....the hard thing is that we don't get out of the way with ease...we kick and scream. I know that I am guilty.

    Hope you have a great day!

    S.

    Recent blog post: Freedom is not free.....

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  4. I don't know if you remember, but I entered a couple of your contests a few months ago and said I would give the canvases to my friend who was suffering with pancreatic cancer if I won. Well, my beautiful friend Dean, fought the hard fight and the Lord took him home on May 5th.

    THIS was Dean's favorite verse. They spoke of it at his Celebration of Life Service. So, again, if I win this canvas, I will give it to Dean...to his widow, Carolyn, and his two daughters and three grandchildren to be displayed in his home until we all get to see him again someday. The plans are not always what we envision, but they are God's plans and they are good.

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  5. Robin ~ All Things Heart and HomeMay 27, 2009 at 6:14 AM

    This is a favorite verse for me but in really dark times I have wondered...
    His plans. Yep. That's the thing isn't it? Thanks for reminding me this morning.
    love to you.
    oh, and this canvas is awesome, not simply the words, but what you've done around the words :)

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  6. This is one of my favorite verses. I have it on a sticky note on my desk. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  7. What an awesome visual reminder!!!

    Recent blog post: Grilled Carne Asada

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  8. sara, do not enter me in the contest - i would like someone else to win. however, i wanted to thank you for this post today! sometimes i have trouble with the words too if i take them too literally. God's ultimate plan for me is beyond my wildest dreams. if "all" i get is forgiveness & heaven - WOW.

    you are such a joy to be around - wish it could be face to face.

    Recent blog post: Normal?

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  9. You truly nailed it about our limited vision. Our plans are definitely not His plans for us. It's so easy to get lost in that. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings, SusanD

    Recent blog post: 30 x 5 Challenge

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  10. This is one of my favorite verses, as well!! I love it...I just have to keep reminding myself to TRUST Him. :)

    Thanks, Sara!!

    Recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday!

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  11. Wonderful post. This is such a great thought for the day- I find I am so much more content when I put my trust in God and His plan for me.

    Liz

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  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE this verse!! Thank you for sharing once again... I just love these canvases!! Great thoughts for me today.... Thank you!!

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  13. This verse rings so true... I've struggled with my path vs His path a lot the past 12 years while my husband and I tried to have children. His path was very different from mine but it's been awesome. I'm so thankful for His path.

    Great blog. Love your work.

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  14. I am feeling OK, just really tired and nauseous. We have our first appointment Monday June 1st and can't wait to see the first pics of Little Peanut. I will feel so much better when I see that little heart beating. Thanks for your prayers...Keep them coming.

    Love from WI,
    Kate :-D

    Recent blog post: Wordless Wednesday

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  15. This is one of my favorite verses! I love your canvases!!

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  16. This is one of my favorite verses...and although I have so many "favorite verses", this one is in my top 5.

    God will never give us more than we can handle. And although sometimes it seems like God's plans for me are too much, I try to remember that He wouldn't give them to me if He knew I couldn't handle them.

    Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful canvas! Have a wonderful Wednesday! :-D

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  17. What comfort the Word of God is! TO know that no matter what happens on this earth, our future and hope is truly with Him. There are days when I feel my body might give out, but no matter what, my God is there, gently holding me in the palm of His almighty hand.

    Recent blog post: Bloom

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  18. I really love this verse. I've repeated it to myself many times over the past several years. We've had lots of surprises in our marriage, things that were most definitely not our plan, but it has all worked out in God's good time and His excellent way.

    Recent blog post: Learning about baby

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  19. Love this verse and the one that goes with it for me is "Be still and know that I am God." See, that reminds me He is in control and truly His plans are good and for me to prosper.

    Recent blog post: Such amazing truth ...

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  20. Beautiful work on the canvas! I'll be the first to admit, I'd be asking, Are you sure? But when you it break it down like you did, it really says everything, doesn't it? It's only requirement really, is faith. And what a wonderful testament you are to deep and abiding faith! Blessings sweet girl.

    Recent blog post: Dairy Queen Shenanigans

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  21. Beautifully said, as usual. Thank you for the reminder that my discontentment or dissatisfaction in life comes from focusing on MY plans, not trusting in God's. To see your contentment and joy in your situation really convicts and encourages me. Thank you.

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  22. Love the verse and, as always, the beautiful way you interpret its meaning for your life. I thank you for these posts that make me think. I've said it before and I'll say it again...reading your blog, and Pete's and Angie's and MckMamas have brought about more awarness of my faith and relationship with God than 12 years of Catholic schooling did back in the day : )
    Bless you for that gift!

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  23. I'm crying. You amaze me with your wisdom.
    Beautiful, abundant blessings to you.

    Recent blog post: Word Wednesday

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  24. Another inspiring quote and a beautiful canvas! Thanks for the chance!

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  25. My favorite verse. And you have really opened my eyes to it. Thanks!

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  26. Trust is such a hard lesson to learn. Thanks for your reminders to try to open our eyes past what our circumstances are.

    Recent blog post: Attitude Check

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  27. I often think God must laugh when I develop my own plans. I've taken to just not planning much and trying to go where He leads me. It's definitely not the plans I would have made, but it is so good!

    Recent blog post: Memorial Monday

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  28. You might just be my favorite thing about Wednesdays. :)

    Recent blog post: I'm just going to say it.

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  29. My FAVORITE verse...God keeps putting it on my heart...in books I read, blogs I ready, everywhere! God Bless you!

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  30. My FAVORITE verse. God keeps putting it on my heart...in books I read...blogs I read...EVERYWHERE! God Bless You!

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  31. Sometimes, His plans are hidden to us in our pain and despair, but His plans are indeed best. We just sometimes can't see that. That's when he remembers that we are dust! Love you and hope you have a wonderful day! You are truly someone who makes me think! :)

    Recent blog post: Yesterday

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  32. Thanks Sara! Another great inspirational message! :) Give Riley a hug for me.

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  33. You know, it's funny that you chose this verse. It is my "Life Verse". My parents chose it for me when I was quite young and they were very new to faith. I've also had a complex relationship with it but for different reasons. Now it's one of my greatest sources of comfort. A bit of rope that I use to tie myself to Jesus sometimes, if you will. Thanks for posting your comments on it.

    Recent blog post: In which I wonder if God can be trusted Part 3

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  34. You are an amazing woman. I've had a very hard time with this verse for the past year, but reading this helped me a lot. Thank you sweet bloggy friend, you are such a spiritual comfort to so many people!

    Recent blog post: Ava & Charlie, Part V

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  35. today's canvas is just about my favourite verse of recent times - and something I clinged to when I was unemployed last year.

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  36. Sara, as always...this is good. I posted a quote on my blog today...could this be done on a canvas....it would be a gift for someone special.....let me know!

    Recent blog post: This One Is For You.......

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  37. Awesome post Sara... You totally speak from your heart and what a beautiful heart it is! You are truly the most insightful and spiritual person I know - in that way God has blessed you (and me)! Love ya. :)

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  38. Thank you for the lovely post!
    Your canvases are great!
    Sahsha's Mummy 8-)

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  39. Oh boy. Is this canvas ever ringing home with me right now. I have some demons Im trying to battle and this just brought tears to my eyes.
    Thanks for your inspiring words Gitz :)

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  40. this verse has spoken to me in so many season of my life. wow! Powerful stuff! I am also reminded of the verse from one of the Corinthians, if I remember correctly, that goes "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind can conceive the things that God has in store for the ones who love Him". And also, the one that speaks about how His "ways are not our ways, his thoughts not our thought." I must trust in, cling to, rely on, and believe in Him, NO MATTER WHAT, with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. When I surrender, that is when He brings "beauty out of (my) ashes". I would love to win this... Blessings to you.

    Recent blog post: May 25, 2009 Dios Te Bendiga...

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  41. What a good reminder! I need to post more of these promises where I can see them in my home!

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  42. Christina J. WerdebaughMay 27, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    Good golly - you REALLY are my "brother from another mother"! (or, sister, in this case LOL) It's like you are channeling me, or I'm channeling you. :) One of my favorite verses, and also one that I, too, struggled to understand along the way accepting my "lot in life" is this terrible disease. Sending you cyber-hugs, friend.
    Blessings,
    Christina W.

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  43. True that. This verse is not a "magic charm" - it's a call to trust Him, even when life is darkest. After all, to whom else can we go? Lovely canvas, by the way. :)

    Recent blog post: What you would have heard yesterday, if I had Twitter

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  44. One of my favorite verses!! And so important to remember in these times of craziness. Beautifully done! :-)

    Recent blog post: Spring is in the air…

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  45. Love this verse. There have been times I've thought it's overused to the point of being trite, but it's gotten me through some tough times, too. It's so easy to *say* and so much harder to really *realize*. Thanks for your post!

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  46. This is one of my favorite verses! Beautiful, just beautiful!!

    Recent blog post: Repatriation (Part 2)

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  47. Love this verse...

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  48. Please don't put me in for this week's giveaway (hope this doesn't mess up how you count it or anything)... but, I just wanted to say what a fabulous post this is. You, I would bet, have done more "soul-searching" than that of your 'average joe'... and, after your search, you come up with such positive ways to think about things. There's another Frankl that inspires that way (Viktor Frankl): for the last of the human freedoms is choosing our own way... when all has been taken away, we can still choose our own attitude about it.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Recent blog post: SOMEthing's Up

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  49. Thanks for a great post, a wonderful verse, and a beautiful canvas!

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  50. this verse was what the president of my university choose as the verse for my 2003 class. my favorite is the verses that follow.

    'when you seek him with your whole heart, he will be found by you'

    one artist to another, I love your canvases

    Recent blog post: Garage Sale Finds and Painting Progress

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  51. I love reading your blog and today's was especially poignant! Thanks for sharing and all the best to you!

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  52. I am reading "To Be Told" by Dan Allender, Ph.D. I wrote these two quotes in my journal this past weekend.

    "Past tragedy and pain are the paints and canvas we are to use to create the art of our life." page 123

    "We will never come to embrace the heartache of our story until we see it profit another human being. Even then the sorrow doesn't leave, but seeing someone benefit from our pain adds hope to that pain, and our gratitude begins to transform our past." page 180

    Just wanted you to know that you have been an encouragement to me on my journey with pain.

    Recent blog post: His lips

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  53. Mary @ Giving Up on PerfectMay 27, 2009 at 8:10 PM

    This is one of my favorite verses. But it also makes me laugh. My mom bought a plaque with this verse on it for my husband - and it was months later that I noticed it has a typo. It says "plans to PROPER you." It's even funnier if you know how big my mom is on manners, and my husband is NOT! :)

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  54. One of my all-time favorite verses, for sure. But what makes it very special is that it's my daughter's "life verse." Your post really got to my heart, Sara. Beautifully written.

    Recent blog post: Buddy the Dog or "What's for Lunch?"

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  55. great words and great art!

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  56. great words and great art! <3

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  57. this is one verse that I have needed to remind myself over and over this last year as I lost a friend through miscommunication. I so want to restore the relationship, but it is not God's time yet. I know God has a plan and I am trying to follow it!

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  58. "Godliness with contentment is great gain." -- The first epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, Chapter 6, Verse 6.

    Recent blog post: Blue Norther

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  59. i am not gonna ruin your words here with mine. there is nothing i can add.

    i can just say...

    you have the hugest place in my heart.

    Recent blog post: pimp my post

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