Written by: Liz Dietz
World-Wide Missions Child Sponsor
Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV)
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
How often do we set out with a plan, and things don’t go the way we expect they would? Maybe a better question is, when do our plans ever go as expected? When things do not go as expected, we might be thrown off guard, disappointed, or crushed by the outcome. The key to a good life and a future with hope is not to rely on our own plans and worldly expectations, but rather, to put our hope and our faith in God and His plan for each of us. This is a straightforward lesson in the Bible, but for me, relying on God’s plan instead of my own was hard to comprehend.
I have been a sponsor to several children in South America, Africa, and South Asia over the past decade. God has richly blessed me with a unique and supportive friendship with each child. After seven years of correspondence with my first sponsor child, the government forced all mission centers in his country to close. I became distraught because I felt I had lost my dear child. My plan was to sponsor him from age 7 through his 21st birthday, and perhaps visit him someday. Now, I could not be sure my final letter would even reach him! Thankfully, a close friend reminded me that I can still pray for my “lost” sponsor child and all the other children who were separated from their sponsors that day.
Why hadn’t I trusted God’s plans for my sponsor child and me? When I finally opened up my hurting heart to God and prayed for this child, I remembered his smiling face. Suddenly, the stories, hopes, and confidences he once shared with me came rushing back to my attention. I felt God’s presence as He brought me such hope for this dear child and his family! It was a transformative moment that gave me comfort in being guided by God’s hand. When we open our hearts and minds to God, and ask Him to guide us according to His holy will, God is with us every step of the way. We truly have a future filled with hope.
Dear Lord, please help me to keep Your Word and Your will in the forefront of my mind, to seek Your guidance before anything else, that I might do truly good things in Your holy name. Amen