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Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:13-14

Each of us has dreams growing up. We dream of being famous. We dream of having fancy clothes, big homes and vacation homes and being able to travel. Then life hits us and for the vast majority of us we look back and see that little, if anything, went as planned.

Gravity attacks our body with vengeance. Old age reminds us of our mortality. We fall victim to health issues, financial issues or relational issues. We suffer from own poor choices or the abuse of others. Our children struggle. A car accident, a fall, an illness can change things in an instant and all the dreaming and planning is for nothing.

The only thing we can be certain of in life is uncertainty. Even King Solomon, with all his wealth and power, bemoaned the fact that the things in life are empty. Still we plan all these things about tomorrow without really knowing where our next breath will come from. No matter how wise we are and no matter how much we plan for the future, reality is we just can’t see tomorrow.

That’s the bad news. Now for the good news. We have a Heavenly Father who not only sees tomorrow. He created it. Tomorrow may not hold what you’d hoped for or expected, but it is EXACTLY what He expected. There are no surprises with God.

Not only has He been to tomorrow and back, He wants you to succeed. While the consequences of poor choices may have sent you on a detour, He can always bring you back to the main road. Happiness and contentment in life isn’t from the things we hold in our hands, but from the things we hold in our heart.

James doesn’t tell us not to plan. Planning is vitally important. The old adage “If you fail to plan you plan to fail’ isn’t in the Bible but its very true. What James is telling us as Christ-followers is that we need always to include God in those plans and leave room for his working. Our lives are like vapors, like the early morning fog. Here now, gone later. All the material things we’ve done will soon pass. But the lives we change will continue on.

The key to success in live isn’t planning and education or relying on the advice of other people. Success comes by seeking God’s direction for you. Education and the wisdom of those who’ve gone before you is important, but only when combined with seeking God for direction.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. I look behind me and see so many mistakes I’ve made, and I suffer the  consequences of. I fear what lies ahead of me with health, finances and relationships. I thank you that while my life here is short, my life with you will last for eternity. Help me to learn to include you in all my dreams so that I can store my riches with you for eternity. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT)

“What’s taking so long?” A friend of mine is an EMT and is often called away to drive the local ambulance to emergency situations. One time he and I were together when he had to call 9-1-1 to get the ambulance. We waited and waited for what seemed to him like an eternity. He commented to me that “people are always telling us it takes so long to wait for an ambulance. I couldn’t figure that out because I know how fast we respond to the calls. But this is the first time I’ve been on this side and it’s really a long hard wait!”

None of us likes to wait. We are an impatient people. We want new toys so rather than save for it, we check our credit line. We want that new house in the country so we go into more debt than we can handle to get our way. Some people will sacrifice family, relationships and their own integrity to get what they want.

Not only is it hard to wait for physical things, it’s hard to wait for God. We ask for things and expect Him to give us what we want and to give it to us immediately. The problem is, God doesn’t work that way. His time is not our time. He knows the best time and the best way to give us what we need.

There are two things about waiting that are dangerous. One is to sit still and wait, expecting that God’s promises will come to us without any effort on our part. That attitude is like saying that I’ll just wait for God to give me the ability to be a concert pianist. Chances are you won’t make it to the stage without plenty of practice on your part.

The same is true in the spiritual realm. If there is a habit you want to break, a relationship you want to mend or a dream you want to have happen, you have to do your part in the process. Prepare yourself for God’s complete work to happen in you through daily prayer, study of His word and building relationships with people that will help you towards your goal.

God will prosper your dreams in his time and his way. As you grow in relationship with Him, He will give you the inner strength and wisdom to prepare yourself for whatever lies ahead of you.

The second thing that is dangerous about ‘waiting’ is taking matters into your own hands. It’s easy to be so driven by an idea that you are ‘sure’ that God wants you to ‘do this’, ‘go here or there’, or ‘have that’. The painful reality is, sometimes God’s plans for us don’t include the ‘dreams we have’ for our lives. We may want some very good things  and have great motives, but if God isn’t in it, your dreams are doomed to failure. That’s the other reason that walking in close relationship with Him is so important.

Think of your dreams as a seed. You plant the seed in good soil. You water it and make sure it has all it needs to grow, but the actual growth of the plant is a result of God’s actions. Do everything in your power to walk close to Him and let Him honor your work by bringing growth into your life from the inside out.

Trust God. As a loving father He will do what He says He’ll do. Patiently wait for his timing. Work hard to draw close to Him but remember that He is the one that will bring the blessings needed for you to reach your dreams. He wants you to break that habit, resolve that conflict or cancel that debt. But He wants your heart even more!

PRAYER: Father God. I praise you that you know my heart. You know my dreams, talents and abilities. I want my desires to be for your good, but I admit that often I get swayed by selfish desires as well. Keep me pure in my desires for you so that my dreams are your dreams and my timeframe is in agreement with your will. Thank you for loving and supporting me. Amen.

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