{31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way} :: Lesson 14~There are More Stars in the Sky

I’ve recently noticed that the way the earth is aligned with the sun and the moon is just right for the view from my bedroom window. It’s a skinny window, but I can sit in my bed (my favorite place in the whole house, by the way…am I alone here?) and have a perfect view of the sunrise and the moonrise. I’m not sure if it’s always like this…I’m sure one of you know way more about this than me (or maybe I could ask Caleb…he would probably know!). But if it’s always been this way, I never noticed it until recently.

One evening a few weeks ago, I pulled open the blinds on my bedroom window so that I could watch the moonrise from my bed. It was just after the sun had gone down behind the mountains and it wasn’t really dark yet. It was a perfect, pretty, dusky grey-blue of evening. As I peered out my window to take in the view, I noticed a really bright star. It was so bright that I didn’t notice any other stars. I walked back to my bed and just stared at that one star that was just SO bright. And the Lord spoke to me…

That one bright star was peering through the dusky, grey-blue sky. But it wasn’t the only star out there. It was so pretty as it twinkled and shimmered, but there were SO many more stars that I couldn’t see.

I think this is how our dreams are with God. We may have a dream or goal that we want so badly and it’s a GOOD dream to have. In fact, it may be a God-given dream that He placed in our heart! But we can get so focused on that one dream and lose sight of the big picture. There are SO many other things that God may have for us, but we may not be open to them because we are focused on the one dream that is so attractive and exciting.

I was reminded of our trip to Uganda this summer. In the beginning of the planning, I had in my mind what kind of trip we were going to take. We had one really strong contact at an orphanage with over 1000 children. We spent two weeks there last summer and I was so excited about taking our team (and my husband and 2 oldest kids) to meet all of the wonderful children that have taken hold of my heart. Well, as we moved forward with dates that worked on the U.S. side, we realized that those dates didn’t work the way we needed them to on the Uganda side. In a matter of a few days, the trip that I had envisioned changed. We wouldn’t be able to go back to that orphanage for 2 weeks. We had a shorter window of time that worked for the orphanage and we would need to find other opportunities for the remainder of the trip.

I was heartbroken thinking we would travel all that way and we would only get to see those children for a few days. One of my co-leaders was disappointed as well. We consoled each other and realized that this trip was out of our hands. It was obviously going to be very different.

The next few months were amazing as the details for our trip fell into place. I knew God’s hand was on our trip…we never once had to go searching for a contact or reaching for a way to fill our time there. Each contact came at just the right time and seemed to fit perfectly with the goals we had as a team.

And wow, what a trip it was. We did everything from playing with orphans to physical labor, building a brick wall. We traveled to a remote village to share the Gospel with people who had never heard from “white people” before. We shared and performed skits and worshiped with children on a remote island in the middle of Lake Victoria. We lead worship at several churches and shared and learned with local worship teams. We played soccer aka “football” with Ugandans. We had the opportunity to do so many wonderful, amazing, humbling, crazy things…plans I never could have made on my own. Opportunities that happened because we couldn’t do what we had originally set out to do.

And it was all completely in God’s plan. HE knew what He wanted us to do way before we ever did. Going over and spending 2 weeks playing with orphans would have been wonderful. But we got to love on orphans AND do all of those other things!

He gave us the one, bright star and also, because of our obedience, the many other stars that were hidden until His perfect timing.

We could have given up in the beginning. When it seemed that things weren’t working out the way we thought they should, we could have decided to cancel the whole trip…grasping for the one opportunity that we wanted so badly. Or we could surrender and let God have His way, remembering that He is a good God and will always lead us down the right path, the one that is PERFECT.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

 

This post is part of the series {31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way}. Did you miss a lesson? Catch up here.

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