The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, July 21, 2022 comes to us from Cree of Texas.
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:18-30 NIV
“Change of Plans”
I was in my senior year of high school when the COVID-19 pandemic began. In the years prior, I had set high expectations of the conclusion of my high school career. I dreamed of going to prom, of the emotional last day of school, and of getting to graduate under normal circumstances. But in 2020, things that so many of us had worked hard for and waited so long for couldn’t happen. I started to fall into a depression, and my anxiety was the worst it had ever been. Every day seemed to get worse, and I felt as though I was moving further away from God. But little did I know that what God had in store for me was going to be so much more than I could have ever imagined.
In the fall, I was actually able to attend college in person. I was scared and anxious as I didn’t know what to expect or how I would do under the circumstances. But God led me to an amazing university where I am able to grow and be reminded daily of God’s goodness. God has taught me that although our plans may not work out the way we expected, God still has good plans in store for us.
Many plans have had to change since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Struggles and frustrations have overwhelmed many of us. As a result, many have struggled with depression and overwhelming anxiety. The fact that the circumstances have been almost completely out of our control, has made those circumstances even more difficult. Throughout the difficult time, God has been with us, guiding us toward the future that is before us, even as we experience the challenges that cause our plans to change repeatedly. I invite you to consider those moments when God has blessed your plans even when they have had to be changed.
Dear God, thank you for watching over us even in our darkest hours. Help us to be faithful, hopeful, and open to your plans for us. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.
Those experiencing a Change of Plans
Thought for the Day:
When my plans change, I trust that God is still with me.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)