by Penny Cook
“You can make many plans,
but the Lord’s purpose will prevail”
(Proverbs 19.21, NLT).
My hopes lay shattered before me. Had I read God wrong? Did I quit a job I loved for nothing?
I felt led to leave my career as an interior decorator and lease a booth at my favorite antique store. I hoped to eventually open a store of my own. A couple of months later, the owner closed the store to retire.
Before long, a friend and I decided to open a store together. We envisioned a place where we could minister to people. She would handle estate sales, and I would offer in-home decorating calls. While searching for the perfect storefront, our out-of-town travels to help elderly parents increased. Reality soon banished my plans as unrequited dreams.
My hopes crashed into shards again. Why had doors closed when I pursued God’s leading?
Time revealed the Lord had re-routed me towards his best plan. Back in a dusty corner of my heart, I harbored a desire to write. I hadn’t pursued the craft because I didn’t believe I could succeed. I dismissed the yearning as a mere fantasy. After all, I knew nothing about publishing. So I hid all my writing in that musty corner.
But while I chased my plans, God dusted off the greater dream I had disregarded. As I followed a more comfortable road, God prepared to do exceedingly, abundantly above all I asked or thought (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV). With all else stripped away, I had the time and focus to see God leading me toward his plans. Detours removed, one road after the next opened and I arrived at Destination Publication.
Now I get to minister to people and decorate their hearts with Jesus.
Where are you spending your time and energy? Is it where God wants you? What may you be holding onto that leaves no room in your hands for what God has for you? Release it and let him fill you with his best plans for you. That’s where your hope and future lie. That’s where dreams are fulfilled.
Lord, thank you for not allowing my plans to trump your plans for me. Thank you for fulfilling the deeper desire of my heart and giving me a purpose much greater than I imagined.
Penny Cooke is a Certified Biblical Life Coach, author, and avid pray-er. Whether coaching, teaching, or writing, Penny equips believers with the Word of God so they’ll be empowered by His Spirit for the battles of life. Find encouragement on her blog, https://www.pennycookeauthor.com, and enrich your prayer life with her book, Pursuing Prayer—Being Effective in a Busy World, https://amzn.to/38ZuYAq