Week 34 Thursday

Plans and Purpose

Today’s scripture selection: Proverbs 19

Key verse: Proverbs 19:21

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails.”

We all make plans – one way or another – some better thought out than others.

Some come to fruition; others never see the light of day.

Plans can lead to our prospering or to our destruction.  And most of us probably experience something in between great success and total disaster.

But, as we consider all the plans we make, the book of Proverbs offers this important truth to ponder:

We can plan all we like – but ultimately – God’s purpose prevails.

What I take from that is a simple reminder that it’s God’s universe, not mine.  That may seem obvious enough to anyone, unless they are some kind of egocentric nut.

But, on a small scale at least, sometimes we forget that simple truth.

We plan; we worry; we act; we fret; we take action; we avoid action; we take too much responsibility; we take too little…but it’s all a part of the same problem.  We have forgotten that God is running things and that our greatest calling; our greatest destiny is to align ourselves with that Divine will.

Yes, we have great freedom – God wants it that way.

But ultimately, He will not allow us to thwart His will for the universe.

So, it’s best to be on notice.  To remember – “God is in His heaven…” and whether or not “all’s right with the world” – God is working out the great order of things, just as it should be.

Whether we are aligned with that purpose or not is up to us.

Prayer: Almighty, all loving God, show me how to fulfill my part in your great plan.  And may the glory and honor be yours.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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