Jeremiah 29:11 – I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (MSG)
I have been writing devotionals for a few years now. It all started rather innocently. I was subscribed to the Presbyterian Church in Canada's Daily devotional which I read every day. At the end of each devotional, there is a little blurb encouraging readers to pray about writing devotionals. That started my seeing spiritual lessons in everyday events. I wrote only a few at first and submitted them. As time went on, I kept writing and submitting others.
A few years ago, one of the readers from another country offered to publish a book of my devotionals. That was an exciting thought, but I never pursued it. I finally decided that I could self-publish right here in my own town in order to save the cost of freight. I prayed a lot about this and talked to my accountability partner, Gwen, about it. She illustrated the book for me with photos that she had taken over the years. From there, we decided to pursue it with a couple of local printers.
About ten months after beginning the process, the book, 101 Inspirations in the Key of "J", was completed. It included a piano music CD that I had made. That was also a lengthy process — times of waiting for others to do what I couldn't. But what joy to see and hold the book that I had penned, that Gwen had illustrated, and that we had self-published! What a delight! What excitement! The joy of the Lord filled our hearts!
Nehemiah 8:10 – The joy of the Lord is your strength. (NASB)
In our lives, we often have a goal. Sometimes, it may get blocked by any of numerous obstacles. Often, they are problems that are beyond our control. We can be impatient, but the ultimate goal is for us to learn patience through these times. To cover these times in prayer is so beneficial.
Romans 5:3 – There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us. (MSG)
Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving us goals and dreams. How sweet it would be if the road were smooth to accomplish those goals and fulfill those dreams. So often, the enemy attacks during those times. Help us to look to You continually for strength and perseverance to continue on the path that You want us to go on. Bless us, we pray, as we seek to fulfill Your plans for us. We know that Your plan is to take care of us and to give us a future that we hope for. Thank You. Amen.