God’s Plans are Higher than Our Plans 

– A Testimony From the Time of Lockdown.

 

I’m one of those people who loves to make plans. Planning is something I do with a passion, and you can tell by my many planners and journals, all filled with lists. To-do lists, to-read lists, goal lists, wishlists, shopping lists – you name it, I use it. And if I don’t, please tell me so I can add another type of list to my … lists.

 

Now how does that saying go? If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

I actually prefer another version of that, that comes straight from the Bible, in Isaiah 55:8-9

 

“Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my deeds are not like your deeds,” says the Lord“for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.”

 

I don’t know what your plans were for 2020, but I’m pretty sure they did not work out. Your life, just like mine, took an unexpected turn and everything changed in ways you could not have imagined. No list, no plan, no projection could have prepared me for the lockdown of the spring of 2020. 

 

My best laid out plans all morphed into one: survive the lockdown. 

 

But God.

 

Don’t you love those two words? Whenever I hear them in a testimony or read them in a story, I am filled with joyful anticipation, because I know the story is about to take an incredible turn. That’s exactly what happened: God came into this situation and proved His plans are infinitely better than my best ones.

 

At the very beginning of the lockdown, my dear friend Heidi, who was stuck in the US because of travel restrictions, and I decided to do a Love God Greatly Bible study together. Fear & Anxiety sounded like the right study for us, considering the unfolding events! We set a starting date, made a plan, put it on our to-do’s.

 

A few days before starting, I felt the Spirit’s prompting to share about the study on Instagram, and ask a simple question: “Join us?” Heidi liked the idea and shared it on her pages, too.

 

What followed exceeded all of our expectations. Friends from all over the world answered that question with: “Yes! Sign me up! I need this! I want in! How do I join? What do I do next?” Friends turned into friends of friends, and the group grew to over sixty women, all hungry for God and His Word. We were overjoyed! And quite overwhelmed! 

 

Heidi and I figured out right away God was calling us to do something is beyond our capacity. While we’ve lead many study groups, we never led an online one before, and never with such a large and diverse group! Right then and there, we put it in God’s hands. We asked Him to provide all the guidance, wisdom, and grace we needed. 

 

During the six weeks of the study our little international community of women weathered the lockdown together, all in our different countries, situations, and families, all in the best possible way, by finding refuge in God’s Word, standing on the Rock that is higher than any pandemic or crisis. It was a life-saver for me and for many of the others; God’s lifeline in a time of need. 

 

As soon as we finished the first study, we decided we couldn’t get enough! So we started another: Words Matter. Isn’t that a great one?

 

Isaiah 55:10-11 talks about promises we’ve seen come true in the next part of the story:

“The rain and snow fall from the sky and do not return, but instead water the earth and make it produce and yield crops, and provide seed for the planter and food for those who must eat. In the same way, the promise that I make does not return to me, having accomplished nothing. No, it is realized as I desire and is fulfilled as I intend.”

 

Not only did our time in the Word bless us and strengthen us through a challenging time, it also yielded much fruit!

 

Out of our dear sisters, three joined the Love God Greatly Russia branch and started translating studies!  A few of us joined the Love God Greatly Romanian branch, helping with graphic design and translations and leading our own online study groups. Once they finished one, they started another! So many women hungry for God’s Word are now getting together in fellowship! Three other young women started their own online study groups, both with Love God Greatly resources and their own studies. Another friend is starting a new group for students from Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan. The harvest was plentiful, and God appointed new workers, Praise the Lord! 

 

Recently, we started doing the Growing Through Prayers study, this time with our whole church!  I have a feeling that God is not done yet. There is still much fruit to come!

 

But God.

 

When He stepped in, He changed my plan of simply surviving the lockdown into a much better plan: THRIVE.

 

As I share this testimony with you, I pray it encourages you. 

 

There is no situation where God can’t turn your “survive” into “thrive.” Not even an international crisis during a time of pandemic. God knows your situation, your mountain, your burden, and He wants you to take it to Him so He can turn it around for good, because He loves you. His plans for you truly are higher than yours.

 

Elena, Moldova

 

 

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