“ . . . no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV
“I opened this door.”
God whispered the words into my heart one morning in the parking lot of the YMCA. And I have to be honest with you. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I had other plans.
I had purchased my ticket to the Beth Moore Conference months before, and I couldn’t wait to attend. My heart longed for some rest and refreshment, and it had been years since I had been to one. Determined not to miss another, I had marked my calendar as unavailable and prepared to take some me time.
So when God brought several invitations to speak on the Saturday of that conference, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about it. Something told me He was trying to get my attention.
One particular event kept occupying my thoughts, and that day in the parking lot, I opened my heart to ask His direction. “What do you have for me, Lord? What is it you want me to do?”
“I opened this door.”
It figured. I had committed myself to walking through any door that God opens, so I immediately knew what that meant. I wouldn’t be going to see Beth Moore.
Really, Lord? I took a moment to voice my frustration. “But I just wanted to get filled up.”
His response was immediate. “I will fill you up.”
Have you ever been there? Have you ever set your heart on a particular path and then realized God was leading you in different direction?
That day I stood at a crossroads.
I knew what I wanted. In my mind, it seemed the best possible scenario, and I wanted to hold it tightly with both hands. Giving it up felt like a sacrifice.
But I also know that Jesus calls us with two, simple words. “Follow Me.” And behind those words, He offers a promise.
“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.” Jeremiah 29:11
At every crossroads along our journey, you and I must decide if we believe Him.
My logic wanted to argue against His leadership. After all, didn’t I need someone to pour into me sometimes instead of always being the one who pours out?
But Jesus had promised, “I will fill you up.”
I decided not to argue further. I’ve trusted Him often enough to know that obedience is always best.
I surrendered my heart to obey Him, and He softened the blow with an idea. I could attend the conference as planned on Friday and then drive to a hotel in Chambersburg so I’d be there for the event on Saturday.
I felt a hint of excitement. Apparently God would allow me to do both.
The weekend arrived for Living Proof Live with Beth Moore. A few of us attended the You Lead Conference beforehand and were finished up by lunchtime. Having cancelled our original hotel room in Hershey, we had lots of time to kill before heading to the Giant Center for worship. A friend who was staying at the Hershey Lodge generously offered us one of her rooms to rest before the event.
We had just parked the car and unloaded some things to take into the hotel for the afternoon. Walking the few short steps to the door near our rooms, we noticed a minivan pull up in front of it. A moment later the door slid open, and out stepped Beth Moore.
It took a moment for my brain to register that it was really her. She stepped toward me, taking my hand in greeting. An overwhelming sense of divine providence washed over me, filling me with emotion. God had orchestrated this appointment.
I struggled to find words at first, caught off guard by this outpouring of God’s favor. But then, as Beth graciously leaned in and listened, I found myself able to share my heart.
I told her that I’m a Bible teacher, and that ten years before, my sister-in-law had invited me for a “sisters” weekend to one of her conferences in DC. I hadn’t heard of her at the time and wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I saw her passionate love for Jesus and witnessed her devotion to His Word, it validated what I had been feeling in my own heart. That weekend released something in me, and not long afterward, I opened my home to lead my very first Bible study. That event marked the start of my journey toward ministry.
But God wasn’t done. While we were speaking, my assistant approached carrying two copies of my Bible study. I handed them to Beth, and she gladly took them, sharing that she had self-published her first book just as I had.
Everything faded as I took in that profound moment… Beth Moore held my Bible study in her hands.
My cup overflowed.
Here’s why I share this, dear one. Had I insisted on my own plan instead of obeying God, I never would have been there. We had reserved a room at another hotel. My stubbornness would have cost me that divine appointment.
God wasn’t taking anything from me by sending me to speak that Saturday. He had a blessing He wanted to give. One that would prosper me, that fit perfectly into His plan to offer me hope and pour into my future.
Will you trust Jesus to write your story, beloved? His plans are far greater than you can imagine.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.