God is Working His Purpose Out
“God, I have heard you say two things. One is that power belongs to you, God. The other is that your love, Lord, never ends.”
Psalm 62:11-12, NIRV
Formerly, my friends would have described me as someone who loves to plan. At one stage, planning large events was my job and, even now, there’s nothing I love more than a spreadsheet with a mapped out critical path. Sadly, it applies to my personal life too. I love to schedule Christmas holidays, visits, and weekends away months (sometimes years) in advance. I love to look ahead in my diary and see trips, weddings and holidays, all written in ink and I anticipate for months all those times with precious friends and family.
Now most of those trips have been scrapped, weddings have been cancelled or hugely scaled down, and birthday surprise trips overseas to see our parents disbanded, to say nothing of the daily pattern of work and socializing. Just like others, my regularly ordered life has taken a turn in an unexpected direction. Now my life is oddly predictable day-to-day, but not at all what I imagined.
It has reminded me that really I have so little power and control in my life, that my plans and hopes are all really “God willing.” Things can turn on a dime when nature, God or other people step in. It’s uncomfortable to live with a very real knowledge of the limits on my agency. The world carries on turning without me, weddings happen, people are celebrated, and FaceTime and Zoom bridge the gap in ways I could not have imagined. At the same time, I’ve been reminded that God’s purposes can be achieved in ways that I may not have anticipated. (I know that I should have realized this some time ago!) His power is without limit. I imagined that six months without worship would hinder me getting to know many of you. However, instead of three seconds at the church door, we’ve had warm email exchanges, long phone calls or texted back and forth–all things that probably wouldn’t have come about if the busyness of regular Parish life had carried on as before. I’ve learned many names and stories and, despite the distance, we’ve grown closer. I’m thankful!
So much changes and we learn to adapt. However, some things never change and these are things on which we can depend: God’s love for us, His desire to draw all people to him and His working out of His eternal purpose. And thankfully, He is more creative in these than we are.