Yesterday, I wrote a post about relying on God's strength, not our own. Sometimes when I write a post, God, with His timely sense of humor, checks to see if I really practice what I preach. My morning yesterday was an excellent example of that.
I had the wonderful privilege of being invited to share with a local MOPS group yesterday. I had spent Wednesday afternoon preparing for my talk. I had some pretty handouts, a nifty PowerPoint presentation and a pretty polished presentation. I was feeling pretty good about things when I went to bed on Wednesday night.
Thursday morning, I sent my girls off to school and gathered all of my things. About 20 minutes before I needed to leave, I ran downstairs to print off my notes. To my horror, I discovered that my notes were nowhere to be found. They had disappeared into the electronic abyss.
Sitting in my chair, I looked heavenward and said "Are you serious? That verse I wrote about had better be true!" So, I sketched out a quick outline, said a fervent prayer that God would fulfill His promise in 2 Corinthians 12:9 and make His strength perfect in my weakness and went off to speak.
The morning went really well. The ladies in the MOPS group were engaging and welcoming, and not once did I feel nervous or lost as I spoke to them. I didn't give the most polished presentation. Instead, I spoke from my heart and shared some things I hadn't planned to share when I planned my talk. God showed up and you could feel His presence in the room. By the time it was over, I was actually feeling glad that God had thrown out my plan and gone with His instead.
You see, I know that God was busy yesterday, kicking the platform of my pride out from underneath my feet. He knew what those MOPS moms needed to hear, and it wasn't exactly what I had planned. He knew that I was relying on my own knowledge and ability more than I was relying on Him, so He stepped in to give both me and the MOPS moms the reminders that we needed.
Yesterday morning, I had two choices: I could rail at God and try to put my plan back together or I could surrender and go with His plan. When you're faced with those choices, I want to tell you it's always better to go with God's plan.
Ephesians 3:20 tells us "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" God can do great things through us, but we have to get out of the way and let Him work. Sometimes he has to bring us to a place where our pride is in tatters and our choices are limited. But know this, God always shows up.
He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. When God changes our plans, He's often trying to teach us to rely on Him and let Him provide us with the strength and grace for the task. While I truly thought God was off his rocker yesterday morning, He left me with no choice but to trust in His grace and strength. When I did, He did so much more through me that I could "ask or imagine."
While I'm grateful for the lesson, I'm hoping I've learned it well enough that the notes for my talk at our church's women's retreat this weekend don't disappear into that electronic abyss as well. But if they do, I know God will show up and take charge.
If you have something that you're doing that you're relying on your own strength to tackle -- a tough parenting situation, a project at work or even a lesson you're getting ready to teach -- give it to God and ask Him to provide the grace and strength you need. Hand over your pride and watch God work.