March 14

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.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

I recently attended my uncle’s memorial service. I was close to him when I was a teenager and young adult. As the years went on, he   remarried a woman who turned out to be the love of his life. When he remarried, his new family seem to literally swallow him up, and I felt some resentment that he was taken away from “my” family. He and I were never that close again. 
As I sat there at his service and listened to person after person from his “new” family speak from their hearts about what a positive role model he was, what an influence he had on them, and how loved and supported they felt by him, I had an epiphany. God’s plan for my uncle was to be there for them, not us. My sister had the exact same epiphany during the service. Somehow, acknowledging that this was God’s plan brought us some peace and understanding. This was not our plan, but it was God’s plan and purpose for my uncle.
He was a man of faith most of his life, but like many of us, his faith grew stronger as he got older. He was an artist, and the picture above is from one of his drawings of the church where he was baptized and grew up in Cincinnati. He felt a special connection to the church and sometimes returned there when he came in town to visit. Living out his faith and beliefs were what his new family experienced when they were around him. 
Isn’t this what we all hope will be said about us? Are we living our faith, loving and supporting others on their faith journeys, even when it isn’t our plan, but God’s plan?
Loving God, Thank You for revealing Your plan to us to help us understand and give us the courage and strength to continue on our earthly journeys.  Amen.

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