I was thinking about some of the plans that we've made this year. Plans which have now very much changed. Covid-19 has definitely changed things and caused quite a lot of inconvenience. But in the full scheme of things, a little inconvenience is irrelevant really.
Helen and I were going away for a week at the end of May to celebrate both our 33rd wedding anniversary and Helen's birthday. Obviously, that's been cancelled now.
I started a new job, only worked there for 3 weeks and haven't been back since. That wasn't part of the plan.
Stephen and Carol were planning to get married. That's been postponed, that wasn't part of the plan.
We were going to another wedding recently that we were invited to. They still got married but with only a couple of witnesses. That wasn't the plan.
The Lord began to remind me of the verse from Jeremiah 29:11,
‘…”For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”…’
I started to think about this especially at a time when there's little hope and lots of negativity outside of Christ, and no future for some.
I think it's been a time of real reflection. Reflecting on what is important. It certainly has been for me. And for Helen and myself we've spent a lot of time together. Just being together. It's actually rekindled the love between us.
It wasn't dead it was always there but it's brought home to us that spending time together, enjoying each other’s company, is more important.
You could actually say that love is spelt T. I. M. E.
I've missed a lot of things during the lockdown. Work (although I've kept myself busy), football (although not as much as everything else), church too. But most importantly I've missed people more than anything.
It's also been a time to draw near to the Lord.
If coronavirus has caused us to reflect on a lot of things and realise at the end of the day what actually is important then something good has come out of it.
Back to the verse from Jeremiah 29.
The Lord reminded me that our wedding anniversary would still go ahead. The date wouldn't change even if our plans did. Helen's birthday would still be on the same day, even if we wouldn't be where we planned to be. The wedding we were invited to went ahead, although not as originally planned. I started my new job although I never planned to be off after only 3 weeks. Stephen and Carol's wedding will still go ahead, just not on the day originally planned.
I started to ponder on the Lord's prayer and in particular Matthew 6:10,
‘…Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven…’
As I pondered this, I realised how perfectly this verse from Matthew 6, ties in with Jeremiah 29:11.
Our plans changed this year for the 30th May, our wedding anniversary, and the Lord reminded me that He put us together, when he said to me "there's your wife".
He reminded me that He got me the job.
Covid-19 was no surprise to the Lord. He knew it was going to happen.
As I reflected, I pondered on promises the Lord made to me as an individual, us as a couple, and ultimately us as a fellowship of believers.
As I did, I felt an urge even more so to pray "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Because at a time when things have been postponed, delayed or even cancelled altogether because of coronavirus, I felt very much encouraged that the promises of God have not been delayed, postponed or cancelled because His promises are still yes and amen, on other words they've been rubber stamped and approved in heaven.
So, I believe the need to pray as the Lord Himself instructed us to, is vital, because all we really want is the "as it is in heaven" promises.
His plans are not governed by 'political climate', 'weather permitting' or 'health conditions' like our plans are. God is still moving. Not that i think He sent coronavirus, I don't, but I believe He uses such things to change our focus or to re-focus us as individuals, the church and a nation on what is really important.
It's encouraging to know that God's plans /promises are not governed by earthly circumstances but by heavenly decree. i.e. on earth as it is in heaven.
I know some people find me frustrating and irritating because I'm a positive person. But with God "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose".