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February 8, 2021

God Always Has a Plan


Ceci and I have a Treeing Walker Coonhound. Not in a pen or running around the farm we don’t have - in our house, in a quiet neighborhood. She was found in a cage at the local PetSmart, needing a home. My sweet wife, who it seems has the God-given destiny of seeing how many dogs one couple can own in a lifetime, swears she was providentially led to Gracie Mae. (All of Ceci’s dogs have middle names.)


In fairness to Ceci, she texted me and asked if I was okay with her bringing home a puppy to join our other two spoiled dogs - while on her way home with Gracie! I was beginning my texting dialogue with her as they walked in. Ceci was grinning; Gracie Mae, of course, was peeing. And so, another canine entered the Sheets “kennel.” I’ve nicknamed our house The Ark.


We didn’t know Gracie was a coon dog at first, just that she was a hound (“with a cute heart-shaped freckle on her nose” - Ceci says). About two weeks into her adoption she found her bark. Correction: She doesn’t bark - our other two dogs bark. Gracie howls or bays (Not being a coonhound expert, I looked up the word bay to make certain it was accurate: “A deep prolonged howl, as of a hound on a scent.” Perfect.) When she made her first attempt at it, I said to Ceci, “That sounded like a coon dog.” A couple of weeks later the vet confirmed it - a Treeing Walker Coonhound.


Now that Gracie is fully grown. So is her howl. I’ve tried to come up with a spelling for how it sounds but can’t. Just try to imagine Scooby-Doo with a bullhorn. And when she talks - yes, she talks - it’s simply a howl at a conversational volume. Sometimes she tries it with a bone in her mouth. She knows if she drops it one of the other two dogs might snatch it up, so she simply greets me with it in her mouth. Sounds like Scooby-Doo with the croup.


We love Gracie Mae. We even like her howls and language. She was born and bred to do it. It doesn’t matter to Gracie that she’s not in the woods treeing a coon; she was born to howl so she does it anyway.


When God wove us in our mothers’ wombs He gave us our “howl.” He placed certain bents, motivations, gifts, and abilities in us. Ephesians 2:10 tells us: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” This verse is using the same symbolism as Psalm 139:19 which says God “wove” us in our mother’s womb. We are pieces of clothing, designed by God, that He intends to wear!


Consistent with this symbolism, the phrase “prepared beforehand” in the verse from Ephesians comes from a sewing term meaning “to measure or fit in advance.” Like any good tailor, before God “wove” us in our mother’s womb, He “measured” us. As our Creator and Destiny-giver, He made sure our gifts, abilities, personality, and motivations would fit our purpose. With these things in mind, qualities matching calling, He tailored us as the garment He would need to wear - He does live inside of us - in order to accomplish His purposes in and through us. You have the gifts, talents, and bents you have because of the person God shaped you to be.


What if Winston Churchill had believed his critics and had chosen a different path? Would England have survived the onslaught of the Nazis without him? More than a century earlier, would the United States have survived and defeated the British if George Washington hadn’t answered the call? Would there have been revivalists like John and Charles Wesley if Susanna, their mother, had adopted a different view of motherhood?


God made you with a purpose and inscribed it into your DNA. If you don’t know what that purpose is, you could end up teaching school when your Designer needed and wove you to be an accountant. You might end up trapped in an office when the Writer needed and wanted a stay-at-home mom to help Him shape a child into a world-changer! Or perhaps you would pastor a congregation instead of being the CEO He created you to be.


Just as God made a purpose for you to fulfill, He also did so for our great America. God wove a plan and destiny for her. Just as we can take a detour in our personal journey, nations can do the same. Wrong decisions can cause us to digress, as I believe occurred in the recent election. We then have to swerve and dodge roadblocks and deal with the setbacks. However, we are Americans and this we can do. And we will do it well. However, it’s important that we do not relinquish our dreams and the promises we hold so dear.


Look deep inside and ask yourself what dreams God hid in you. What makes you come alive? What strengths have lain dormant while you’ve pursued goals that could never fulfill you? Make a determination now to pursue the dreams God has for you - being the person He created you to be.


What were you born to do? What did your Tailor measure you for? Are your dreams consistent with this? Is someone trying to make you act like a Yorkshire Terrier when you’re a bona fide Treeing Walker Coonhound? You will never be truly fulfilled until your dreams, goals, pursuits, and activities match what your Creator dreamed for you.


Like our canine friend, find your howl and be who you are meant to be. The first step is to believe God has a destiny for you. He has placed His pioneering nature within you.


“So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are His lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.” Romans 8:28 TPT


A prayer you can pray:


We thank you, Father, that You always have a plan. You wove that blueprint together and placed it inside the womb of our mothers, and inside the womb of a nation. We are grateful that even when we cannot see all the steps in front of us, as we seek You, You guide our feet along Your path. We thank You for this journey and all the stops along the way. You teach us lessons we didn’t expect or even know we needed.


We thank you for putting dreams inside of us - Your dreams that cause us to reach for what is up ahead, to always move forward and find a new path, a better way. You are the Great Creator and Giver of life.


And Father we thank you for Your design for America, this great nation You planned and built. Your purpose for us is to be a light for You, both here on our own soil and to the nations of the earth. We agree with Your plans, Lord. We say Yes and Amen to your destiny for America. We ask You to continue to bring about Your plans for our great land. We thank You that no person or principality can change your intentions for us personally or for America. You are omnipotent and nothing can stand against You.


So we bless our great country today. We say, “America, come into your destiny - you will fulfill God’s plans.” And nothing will stop it.


In Jesus’ name we pray...Amen.


Decree:


We are navigating the road-blocks and America’s destiny will be fulfilled.



Portions of today’s post are taken from my book Dream.