Planning for the Future – The New Year is Coming

Preparation and Planning

Time for Planning - A Studio 1-37 Original Image

How did your Christmas preparation and planning all pan out? Did everything go as carefully as you desired? Whether your planning was elaborate or simple there is usually some little hiccup that doesn’t quite go the way we want. Maybe a flaw in the decoration, the gift that just wasn’t quite right, or food that was too this or too that. Even things that are totally out of our control of planning, such as the family member that didn’t quite behave the way others hoped, can make us rethink our planning. Sometimes, however, maybe it doesn’t have so much to do with our planning as God’s.

Just look to Joseph and Mary’s planning. Things most certainly didn’t go the way they planned. Even the night of Christ’s birth didn’t seem to be properly thought out. Did Joseph question God’s planning that night? It most likely was not the type of planning that he wanted for his wife and her new son. But it did go according to God’s plan, down to the last detail. The birth took place exactly according to the plan as God promised many years before. For God planned the birth Himself and carried out His plan to save us all from death.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger because there was no lodging available for them.

Luke 2:6-7 (NLT)


Rethink Your New Year Planning

If you haven’t already put away your decorations it probably won’t be much longer before you pack them up for next year. It is often this time of year that we feel the need to clean out or cleanse ourselves from the overabundance that the Christmas celebration often brings with it. Even this cleansing though settles into everyday life and its routines as our schedules fill and move forward. It is during this time that even our most careful planning can often go off track as old routines and ways settle in. Maybe it is time to rethink our plans of life for the New Year so that we can reach our goals more easily. But in this thought perhaps it is how we want to obtain these goals that need more careful planning.

Too often it seems we get so caught up in our own planning for our life, we leave little to no room for God’s plans. We set our goals but do so with only our own agenda in mind. So, as we begin to set our planning in place for this upcoming New Year, maybe we need to take time to reflect upon not only our planning and goals but include God’s as we move forward. Perhaps we should step back and realize that real life is filled more with ordinary moments than big events. But even the ordinary moments and goals need planning and including God.

Ordinary Moments Still Need God Leading Them

Now that the big celebrations are behind us as we settle into the bare months of winter we can see more clearly that much of the year is us doing life in regular ordinary times. And though each season seems to herald itself in with pomp and circumstance they all seem to settle back once again into ordinary times and moments. But there is much good to be done in the ordinary which is why planning for these moments is just as important. For God most often arrives in ordinary times with extraordinary experiences that make everything worthwhile.

Sometimes God holds an alternate plan for our lives and it often differs greatly from the plans we laid out. But when we move into life with the goal to carry through life doing God’s will, we accept that we are not promised a life of comfort or convenience. However, we are promised that everything, even the uncomfortable parts of life, holds meaning in God’s plan. If we include Him in our planning to follow Him, He will lead us along His path providing for us along the way. Our plans are not God’s, but that doesn’t mean planning should be thrown out. For we can take encouragement in knowing that even when our plans don’t work out  His planning is always for the good as He works out a plan to save us all. We can, like Joseph and Mary, live a life of faith trusting in God’s careful planning.

Plan but Know that God is Always in Control

As we set our goals in place for the New Year, we must remember that life is full of bumpy roads and things won’t always go the way we plan. But we must trust God to see us through it all whether small moments or grand events, He is always there. If we approach life allowing Him to lead us in even our ordinary small moments of time, they, too, can be extraordinary for it all has meaning in God’s plans.

Let us not limit God by our expectations in our planning. When things don’t go the way, we hope, and our plans aren’t working out let us look to Joseph and Mary and take comfort in knowing that God cared for them as He cares for us. He is working out His plans to save us all through Jesus, our Savior. Let us keep planning and preparing for all the moments of time in our lives whether ordinary or extraordinary but know that God’s plans may be different.

Challenge yourself to take your planning in stride knowing that God is in full control. Allow your conviction to take hold in knowing with full confidence that God will guide and provide all you need along the way. Find your motivation, like Joseph, living each day by faith and trusting that God is in charge. Surround yourself in the comfort of God’s love as the baby in the manger grew up to be your Lord and Savior. Let Him grow in your heart as your New Year planning takes over.

Happy New Year!

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.

Allen Saunders

Extra Study

Matthew 1:25, Galatians 4:4

What Are Your Thoughts?

Have you started planning for the New Year? Did you include God? Have you thought about how God takes the ordinary times of life and makes them extraordinary? Share your thoughts on planning a New Year where God leads all your moments whether ordinary or extraordinary.

Join the Discussion

Credits

Vo, K. (2018, December 24). Lutheran Hour Ministries Daily Devotions. Retrieved from Lutheran Hour Ministries: https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20181224

How God is working through your life?