Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Plans

Is this the plan, Lord?
A devotional by Carrie Del Pizzo

“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 a hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

I find great comfort in the fact that the great big God of the whole wide universe has a plan for me. My husband and I love that verse so much that we put it on our wedding invitations. Twenty years later, we’re still watching His plans unfold.

But let’s be honest, sometimes I wish God would tell me the plan. I don’t need the whole story with every detail. But an outline would be nice. Maybe a course syllabus or possibly Cliff’s Notes. I haven’t seen any outlines so far, which means some days I wonder.

Last spring, when our exchange student returned to his home country, we began discussing how best to use the spare bedroom. Get another exchange student? Rent to a local college student?

After much prayer and discussion with the family, we felt God’s call. We decided to open our home to an unwed young mother. Our city is home to a fantastic ministry working with young women who become pregnant when motherhood isn’t part of the plan. Well, not their plan anyway.

And so we began preparations for a young lady and her child who need a family to love them unconditionally. If you’ve participated in the foster system at all, you know there are heaps of hoops to jump through for licensing: training, home repairs, CPR certification, etc. We’ve been on a 90-day journey to check all the boxes and we’ve recently hit a brick wall.

With only seven days before our deadline, we learned that we needed to get all five cats to the vet for current vaccinations. (Yes, five cats. Yes, I’m the crazy cat lady.) Even if it were logistically possible to get all the cats to the vet in a week’s time, how could we ever afford the bill?

I’ll be honest—I felt disappointed and confused. Why would God lead us all this way, only to be denied just so close to the finish line? This is your plan, God … right?

In the Jeremiah passage, the next two verses go on to make an important point.

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)

Did you catch that? When we pray, He will listen. When we look for Him, we will find Him … when we look with all our heart. That means we have to be serious about the praying and the looking. Not just, “Ok, God, you can step in or whatever.” No, we have to intentionally go to God.

And so we did. Once again, my husband and I prayed about it and sought wise council.

Our licensor checked with her state director to get the complete details on getting our cats “up to code.” Turns out, only rabies vaccinations are required, which is significantly less expensive than all the many cat vaccinations available. Also, we are allowed to get our license while still in the process of dealing with the cats as long as all rabies vaccinations are done before a child is placed in our home.

What felt like a brick wall was just speedbump and we are once again days away from being fully licensed.

What about the plans God has for you? Do you ever double check with Him the way I do? I encourage you to ask Him—He’s listening. And look for Him—you’ll surely find Him.

Author Bio:
In this world of texts, memes, and emojis, slowing down to truly communicate can feel like straining a muscle you haven’t exercised in far too long.

Seventeen years of business experience across a variety of industries has taught Carrie Del Pizzo the fine art of professional communications. Partnering with corporate executives and entry-level employees alike, she has written and edited major project proposals, direct marketing pieces, sensitive client communications, employee handbooks, and user manuals.

Carrie’s love of literature and story has led her to develop and exercise her fiction writing skills as well. Aside from her personal creative efforts, she also edits for self- and traditionally-published authors and enjoys writing short dramas for church presentation.

Carrie is a wife, mom of three Americans and host-mom to numerous exchange students. Italian-by-marriage means she loves to cook and eat. She lives in Spokane, WA, with her hilarious family, who keeps her in stitches and provides piles of material for great stories.

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