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Devotional

When Nothing Goes As You Had Planned

by RACHEL HENDRIKSON GOD'S GUIDANCE/DIRECTION Contentment Expectations God’s guidance & direction Obedience Saying goodbyes Reliance Discouragement Transitions
When Nothing Goes As You Had Planned
  • by RACHEL HENDRIKSON
  • Comment
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow..."
James 1:2-4a

I thought I knew what the spring of 2020 was going to look like. We were to leave our current country of service where we have been for 10 years and move to the States for a year of furlough. We were then transitioning to another country in Europe. We had everything planned: last meals with neighbors, church gatherings, goodbye parties, travel arrangements, last events for our kids to say goodbye, and storage and moving details all in place.  


But then COVID-19 came. As I write this today, we’ve been on lockdown for six weeks. We aren’t able to move out of our rental house and we decided to stay until this is over. I guess God’s timing for our departure was not the timing we had planned. 


Often times, I find myself waiting until a situation is over to then share what I learned. I like to be able to sum the situation up and explain how I saw God at work. But today, I don’t write from the past tense because I am in the midst of the situation. There are a lot of unknowns right now for most of the world. I don’t know when we will move. I am very much not in control, and honestly, that is an uncomfortable place for me. But it is a good place to be if I want to grow in my faith and trust in God.  


James 1:2-4a (NLT) tells us, “When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow…”  


So that’s what I am going to do. I am going to lean into Him, asking Him to redeem this time and do a good work in me, in my family, and in the world. I am asking Him to do more than I could imagine here in this country that I have come to love. I pray that by staying, we would be able to see more people take steps closer to Him and maybe even choose to follow Him! 


I am praying and trusting God to guide us. I am watching to see what He is going to do and how He is going to respond to our prayers in this difficult time! I am confident that my faith and endurance will grow as I walk with Him through this time.


Closing Prayer
Father God, I thank you that You are a sure foundation for us in whatever situation we are in. You are unshakeable. It helps me to remember that when I am reminded of how little I can control. Thank you that You are in control. You are our Guide and we can trust You. Help us to look to You each day for the faith we need to keep following You one step at a time. We love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Resources
Sermon: 20 Inches to Mercy by Louie Giglio I was really encouraged by this message and the reminder to pray in all situations.
Question for Reflection

What verse encouraged you the most during the Spring 2020 and Covid-19 outbreak? Why?

Comments
Rachel Hendrikson
April 07, 2021

Another verse, besides James 1:2-4a, that meant a lot to me during that time was Jeremiah 17:7-8. This became my prayer, that my hope and confidence would be in God as I trusted Him for each day.


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