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Does God Really Have a Plan?

Does God Really Have a Plan?

The older I get, the harder nostalgia hits.

While I’m increasingly offended that the relics of my childhood have the name “vintage” attached to them, still I find myself wandering antique stores and perusing their wares. There have been moments when I experience a dizzying sensation come over me as I see something that unlocks a dormant memory from my childhood. It’s usually a toy, a book, a piece of decor, or maybe even a VHS tape that will trigger a deep sense of nostalgia accompanied by a longing for the past. I’m almost transported to simpler times, with fewer cares and responsibilities…until a glance at the price tag makes me snap back to reality.

Have you ever traveled to a place you once lived or visited long ago and had memories come flooding into your mind? This week I was in Central Oregon, the place I worked and ministered in about 10 years ago. And let me tell you, I was hit with all the feels. Feelings and memories of good times and good people. Adventures were lived there, and friendships forged. I grew into confidence as a pastor. I remember moments when by God’s grace conflicts were resolved, and He led through seasons of building the church body with baptisms. Yet to be honest, I also have memories of not-so good-moments. Memories of my weaknesses and fumblings. I recalled moments of great success, and great failure—both of which taught me so much.

The thing is, in that season of life—while I didn't really know it—I was growing. I was changing. Though I wasn’t mindful of it, I was actually developing into the person God needed me to be today. Truly, it is as the prophet says:

“O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

How about you? Can you recall times when God was growing and maturing you? Perhaps this is that season for you. I’m certain that the successes and challenges of previous times prepared you for today. God was at work in you then because He had plans for you now. And God is at work in you now because He has plans for your tomorrow.

To broaden it further, I would humbly submit that God is doing that very thing in your church and in the Oregon Conference. In these challenging times though we are faced with destabilizing realities we aren’t used to; God is at work among us. In these times when perhaps we are called to take on more responsibility, or share responsibility, God is at work in us. Just as with all the challenges David rose up and faced in his youth prepared him to be king, so God is at work in us today to equip us and lead us into His plans for tomorrow. This Church is God’s church, and He will see it through because above all He is faithful.

Whatever season you are in personally, whatever challenges you face, God has you. God is growing you and is preparing you for where He is leading you. Oregon Conference family, you can trust that He is at work in our lives and churches. He does have a plan for us, and this season is a part of His plan. As we wait for Jesus’ return, we the people of the church will continue to grow in Jesus and shine His love in the world. What might be right around the corner that God is prepping us for?

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7

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