Written by:
Caitlin Hankins

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His Plan, Not Mine

By Caitlin Hankins

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a better future.” - Jeremiah 29:11

When I was a senior in high school, I had the privilege of going to Africa to work with children through ZOE Ministries. I had dreamed of going overseas and working with kids and showing them the love of God for as long as I could remember. In the end, it was not me who changed their lives; it was them who changed mine.

It was not me who changed their lives; it was them who changed mine.

At the time, life in my final year of high school felt like a whirlwind. It didn’t feel like the right time for me to be going anywhere, especially to another continent. One day I got a call though, from my old pastor, asking if I would like to go for free to Africa to be a youth representative on the mission team. Without hesitation, I said yes.

I met kids who had had been raped, suffered abuse, and faced starvation. Some of them were homeless. Yet, every single one of them could recite Jeremiah 29:11. In this verse, Jeremiah’s personal life and struggles are shown to us in greater depth and detail than any other Old Testament prophet. Despite his struggles, he remained faithful to God and believed that God’s plan for him was greater than any plan he could make for himself.

Being a disciple does not mean sitting on your couch waiting for God to change the world, it means you going and do it.

I know many of us could tell you exactly what we want to do in life after we get done with high school or with college. I mean, I could. I want to work at a low income school; I would like to one day be married’ I would like to adopt a little girl from China; I would like to work overseas and help increase the awareness of why it is so important to educate girls. All of this is my plan. And if I could tell you one thing about my life, it is that my plan has never matched up with God’s plan.

If anything, I encourage you all to listen for his plan. God did not call us to live a life of comfort. He called us to be disciples. Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Being a disciple does not mean sitting on your couch waiting for God to change the world, it means you going and do it. God wants us to live the life he designed, but we wont ever be able to sitting in our comfort zone. So go, go love others and spread his word and follow the path God has for your life.

Discussion Question: How can you begin to pursue the plan God has for your life?