When God has a different plan than we do

The invites had all been sent via Facebook, email and text.  The giveaways were purchased, the visual aids were packed and ready.  My presentation practiced and polished.  I had my game face on, and the clothes to match – my professional, yet Christmas-ey outfit.  The promise of free gifts for bringing a friend had been made, and I woke up early and prayed for who God would bring that day.  In short, I was ready to change some lives!

I had been hyping this particular “Seasonings with Sarah” event for months.   I scheduled it for December 2nd with the express intention of delivering my special Christmas message “Room in the Inn” early enough so it might change how we do December. IMG_0001

I arrived early and set up the room with my mangers and candles and handouts.  I couldn’t wait.  I love this message.  I love its potential to cast out chaotic, frenzied, unintentional Decembers and leave in its wake peace, calm and purpose.  I was ready.

And then as the minutes passed by, and with them my confidence, I began to realize it might all be for naught.  11:45 usually brings several early folks, lunch in hand.  By 11:55 only 1 person was there.  12 noon came with a total of 4 people present – including me!

It’s not like I normally have hundreds or anything…but even a small crowd is more like 7 or 8.

Now, please don’t misunderstand, I’m not discounting those particular 3 women who made it a priority to show up that day – even when their schedules were fighting them tooth and nail.  I adore and cherish them for coming, and I do know God intended for them to be there.  And likely, only them.

What I am saying is this:  in my humanness, I wanted more. 

More people.  More influence. More opportunity to affect people’s Decembers.

And hardly anyone was there.  I even promised gifts!

I try my best not to argue with God’s plans, especially when I’m quite sure they don’t align with my misguided or selfish motivations.

But C’mon, God!  3? 

As I reflect on that day, I am left with knowing there was so much more to God delivering me 3 women than there would have been had he brought 20 – or even more than the room could hold.  And I’ve been trying to figure out how to get over myself, and listen up to what God wants me to hear.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

If we aren’t faithful with the few, we won’t be given the many.

What I learned on a Tuesday morning in December with 3 encouraging, faithful women is that God can be even more powerfully present in a tiny room of 4 than in a room of 20 or even 1,000.  It is akin to nothing I ever feel in a crowd of many where I receive little to no feedback when I’m finished presenting.  Their attendance was so much more to me that day.

It was an example of the parable I so love to quote, and sadly often forget,

You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” Matthew 25:21

God had a plan for exactly HOW MANY and WHO he brought that day. And if I’m not faithful with the few, he surely can’t entrust me with the many.

We need to trust God to use all things according to His purposes.

Most speakers like to speak to an actual audience. I’m one of them.

But seriously, if no one had showed up, I wouldn’t have given this message.  But because 3 devoted women (thinking Wise Men here!) did, I decided to audio tape it.

And because of that, God can use this message to touch far more people than even if I had a bountiful crowd that day.   Now you can hear what this message has for you by listening to it from the privacy of your own home.  (So do it!)

God knows what you need – to hear about being present, available and still.   And He knows what I need – a HUGE dose of humility! I’m sure glad he’s smarter than both of us.

I believe it will change your December if you take time to listen to this message.

Here’s to Making Room in the INN of your heart, and your calendar.  With 15 days left till Christmas, there’s still time!  Now go listen.  You won’t be sorry you did.

Question: When have you doubted God’s plan and it turned out better than you could have planned? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Sarah Beckman inspires people from the stage and on the page. She is the bestselling author of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial, which is filled with practical tools to love people well in the rough patches of life. Sarah speaks to audiences across the country on topics such as loving your neighbor, sharing your faith, safeguarding your marriage and digging up your talents.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 thoughts on “When God has a different plan than we do

  1. Hi Sarah!

    Loved your message…Our Mops group sponsored a new event this year that God placed on my heart back in November. We originally had planned to have the Miracle in the Manger event at our church but a funeral came up 10 days before the event and we were told “there is no room”. This was after many obstacles that kept coming up and threatened to discourage me to not have the event at all. But God had a better plan…my friends own a building in the downtown area of our little town and they offered their space to us so we could have a place for people to come adore the newborn King. The place was GORGEOUS! Gold plated ceilings, majestic columns and perfect natural lighting for all the photos with the baby Jesus. His plan was so much better than my own! The website I sent has the splendor of His glory captured with many local families that brought Christ into their Christmas this year!So blessed!

    Thank you for the reminder to raphah this December!

    Your sister in Christ,
    Krista Karlson

    • Krista! What a beautiful story! I’m thrilled you persevered and that the Lord provided a perfect (even better!) place for you to adore the KING. I am so glad to hear from you too…and there are so many more lessons we can learn when God’s plan changes ours…not the least of which is that he will find a place for us when we think we have none! Just like Mary and Joseph. Have a glorious December – it sounds like your heart is in the perfect place! Blessings to you friend.