I have some of the most amazing friends all over the world. Yesterday, I woke up to this New Year’s greeting in my inbox from a good friend in Ohio:
Happy New Year! I hope all your plans for the coming year are completely thrown off wack and blown out of the water by underestimating how much Love will work around and through you!
Who thinks to send something like that? A good friend, you say? Most definitely. I laughed out loud when I read it. This guy gets it.
That’s precisely what is wrong with our plans; they underestimate how deeply Love will work even in the chaos of what we can’t control. And, we have no idea the paths that Love will lead us down that we would never have chosen for ourselves. Yet, they will be the ones that move the needle on God’s work in us and his purpose unfolding in the world.
Looking back, the greatest joys of my life came from things I didn’t plan and the outcomes I did not force. Asking God to bless my plans now seems like an absurd undertaking. I don’t want him to bless me with what I want or think best but by letting me be a part of what he is doing in the world. He really does know best about everything.
As I contemplated these thoughts, I was reminded of another prayer that Brennan Manning offered a good friend. This is good, too!
May all your plans be thwarted. May all of your desires be withered into nothingness. That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.” Brennan Manning
These prayers may seem exceptionally cruel if you don’t know God and how he works. However, knowing him and what he can do even in the difficulties we face will make your heart sing with joy. Yes, this is where Life is found—in his unfolding purpose—and nowhere else.
Happy New Year to all my friends around the globe! May you find God this year in ways that surprise you and lead you deeper into his joy in you!
One last note:
The next gathering of the He Loves Me Book Club will take place this Saturday, January 6, at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. You can find the link for this conversation on the Facebook Group Page, or if you are not a member of Facebook, you can write me for a link. These conversations are held and recorded on Zoom. We stream them live on my Facebook Author Page for those who don’t want to be in the Zoom discussion, and you’ll find our previous conversations there.
This week, we will discuss Chapter 10, The Greatest Force In the Universe, and Chapter 11, “He Loved You Enough to Let You Go.” Both cover the concepts that shifted the paradigm of my heart from the old religious views of God that destroyed my faith in him rather than encouraged it.
You are welcome to join us even if you’re brand new. We’re just exploring themes to help us walk more freely in God’s goodness and love.