In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Holding our Dreams in an open hand

I adore the Word from God spoken through Jeremiah the prophet found in Jeremiah 29:11:

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 hope and a future.

I am so grateful to know that God's Word is true.

Recently I was terminated from a company where I'd worked for the past 9 yrs. A company that is one of the largest nursing home chains in the country (I'm a licensed nursing home administrator), and has all but 2 psych facilities in southern CA (I've always worked in and ran mental health facilities). I've never been terminated from any job and for the past 25yrs have never gone out and applied for a job; my employers have always been happy with me and, though my work, I've met people in compatible businesses who have hired me. So, well, it's definitely an uncomfortable situation.

I've certainly been re-thinking what I'd thought were my dreams.

One thing I've learned through the years is that when times are tough I've got to make sure I'm thoroughly drenched in God's Word. I've got to make sure to apply the direction in Philippians 4:8 about the need to keep my mind set on whatever is right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.

To that end I've been making time to read inspirational words. I've also been listening to sermons or bible teaching while I'm cooking, cleaning or doing other necessary mindless tasks.

Today I was encouraged by these words penned by a pastor named Joel Osteen:
"Today many of you are limiting God because your eyes are on your current situation. You are overwhelmed by the pressures of life. Nobody enjoys going through tough times. But with God, through trials and adversity we realize the vastness of how much He loves and cares for us. When you live without limits, you can see your future much clearer. God has a plan for your future and it involves greatness."

While I was cooking today I listened to a sermon by Pastor Jay Pancratz about fireproofing your dreams (Attachment: aug_2_09.mp3). A few things really spoke to me in that. One of the things Pastor Jay said caused me to remember that God wants to use us at any age. As a 49 yr old woman, our culture would say that I'm on the downside of the slope. But God reminded me that Abraham was 75 when God told him he was to leave his home and go into a new land and that God was going to make him the father of a great nation. Moses was 80 when he led the Israelites out of Exile in Egypt. Pastor Jay also emphasized how our dreams need to be held in an open hand so that we're always open to God if He wants to make changes. We may very well not end up experiencing life the way we had it all figured out; but God's ways are so much better! I'm reminded of a favorite bible priase to God found in Ephesians 3:20-21 that says:

20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

I am convinced that if I'll cooperate, God will do way more than my dreams for myself. God will do beyond what I ask, beyond what I can imagine, though His power at work in me.

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