God always has a plan that includes the entire world. Without question, it also includes you! His big picture plan for the world and His individual plan for your life come together when we ask a question – “What’s in your hand?”
God’s Got A Plan
This material will engage some philosophy and a review of a bit of theology. However, I think it’s helpful for today’s content. Once we get through that, I have a sweet story to illustrate “what’s in your hand.”
This world is groaning, yearning for a better way to do things. Nations are battling for freedom – for their very soul. Creation is writhing under threats of climate change. In addition to all this, individuals are slipping through the cracks. All kinds of atrocities and tragedies are happening globally, daily. People are going hungry, losing hope, perhaps being killed – even in your community.
The Scriptures tell us that before He created the world, God had a beautiful, perfect plan. Creation launched this strategic plan timeline forward. At this launch, God privileged mankind to be caretakers of creation and all its processes.
God also established something that would become critically important – forever. He knew mankind would fall. His perfect creation would break under the strain of being forced out of its original design. So, before He created anything, God developed The Plan of Salvation. He put into motion a Redeemer: Jesus, the Intermediator – fully God, fully man. Any person who believes on Jesus would rise back into original design.
Rev. 21:5 says, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
So, we can say God’s got a plan. It is in process and involves the big picture and your individual life. But how does all this philosophical background affect what’s in your hand? We’ll get there. Hang tight with me.
God’s Plan: Story Line, Plot, Climax, Resolution
First, a nutshell, point-by-point summary of God’s story plan goes like this –
- Creation and glory.
- The Fall and brokenness.
- Virgin birth.
- Jesus grows up human.
- His ministry and miracles.
- Suffering, slander, and belittling of the King and Creator – by His created rulers under Him (mankind).
- Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
- Resurrection to new eternal life.
- THEN – He created the world and this story began to be told in real time.
- At some point in history, you were born.
When we face the reality of our ravaged world, nations, creation, individuals – knowing God has a plan is comforting. That is, IF you also believe He is good, loving, and wise, as Scripture teaches.
God’s intelligence is unmatched. His compassions never fail. His timing is impeccable. Every attribute of His character is noble, credible, and congruent with His very nature. Notice these words portray God’s person.
When you invest your individual trust in God’s plan by faith, you can rest. Living with trust and rest in God means comfort even in troubled times. Still – everybody’s got a part in this story – both God and you.
Let’s look at some comforting, powerful facts about God as He works His plan:
- God will never be found without brilliant strategy in place.
- He will never get behind or be caught off guard.
- It is not possible for God to forget – not even tiny details. Not even you.
- His approach of love and compassion is never in short supply.
- God is faithful and keeps His promises.
You may wonder – what does all this have to do with – “what’s in your hand?” I promise – it’s coming.
God works through properties He created: time, space, physics, chemistry, etc. He also works miracles – even today – that often look different than you picture. His sustaining power pulsates all around you and throughout the world. He will restore a perfect creation.
This is the big picture plan.
God’s heart is also leaning toward you because He loves you! Since He’s an excellent intermediator and negotiator on your behalf, He secured your salvation and eternal life. God cares about you down to your life details, personality, and skill sets.
This is the individual plan.
God is utterly faithful. Scripture says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6) God is brilliant and can do anything. There is no one like Him. (Ex. 8:10; 1 Sam. 2:2; 2 Sam. 7:22; 2 Chron. 14:11)
You have an important role in God’s plan. Now we’re getting closer to “what’s in your hand.”
Here are some points to explore in connecting with God:
- God will put His laws in your mind and write them on your heart, if you let Him.
- He will be your God and Father, if you accept Him.
- He will personally teach you. Are you willing to learn?
- God allows you to know Him intimately. Don’t be afraid.
- He will cover your sins with Christ’s blood, if you trust Him.
- You can be who God originally designed and accomplish your life purpose. Do you want this?
Here is the story I promised. It’s about an ordinary individual! A person like you and me.
When I was a little kid, 9 or 10, sitting in church in a small town, a farmer got up front and shared what was on his mind. I sat in my pew, kicking my legs, chewing gum, and pondering his story. In his every-day world, he drove a grain truck, a combine, tended to chickens and cows, shoveled “stuff” in the farm yard, fixed machinery. Yet, he wanted to be part of God’s plan. So, he asked God questions. And he got unusual answers.
What’s In Your Hand?
This man asked God what he could do to help a broken world – people who are lost, poverty, shattered nations. Similar to Job, he got a question back rather than an answer – “What’s in your hand?”
A bit surprised, the farmer thought. “Hmmm, what is in my hand? A hammer, a wrench, a shovel. What does this have to do with God’s plan?” For decades, the farmer had simply worked his land and cared for his family and community.
Well, one year, our church burned down. He joined a group of men to use hammers, wrenches, and shovels to build a new church. This one tragic event brought two groups of Jesus followers together into one stronger group.
Still asking God questions years after the church was rebuilt, he took a missions trip to Haiti. There he swung a hammer, cranked on a wrench, dug with his shovel.
Over the years, that farmer accomplished more than he imagined. Besides impacting his family and community with his hard work on the farm, he served a culture in Haiti. And he never knew how his story impacted a little girl in a pew.
You see, my dad was the pastor of that little church that burned down. He often worked with farmers in their fields. And he worked side by side with farmers and town folks – swinging hammers, cranking wrenches, digging with shovels as they re-built the church together.
When we moved, that same farmer and his brother loaded up a big farm truck and helped move my family to Dad’s new ministry. Once again – applying his hands to what was in front of him.
The farmer and his wife also supported my family financially for many years with proceeds from their farm where he continued to swing a hammer, crank on a wrench, and dig with his shovel.
Because of all this, the farmer made a mark on the world by simply using what was in his hand. His portion in God’s plan quietly spread in waves around the globe, making a difference. The girl in the pew was listening and watching.
You might be in business. Perhaps a homemaker with young children. Maybe you are an engineer, a medical professional, teacher, musician, carpenter, student. You might be a farmer.
Ask God your questions! But let Him answer with His questions. As you discover what’s in your hand, simply live each day. Draw close in your heart by faith to God. He loves and wants you.
Ed Hartung is now in Heaven with Jesus – and with my Dad. I sincerely wonder if they are swinging hammers, cranking on wrenches, and digging with shovels . . . among other amazing, delightful activities.
Applications Ideas And Questions
Action step questions to consider:
- Will you say “yes” to your part in God’s big picture plan?
- Are you willing to place God’s agenda above yours and be a living sacrifice?
- Are you ready to be who God designed – and use what’s in your hand each day to make a difference?
- What will you do today to partner with God?
- How can you serve someone else today with what’s in your hand?
P.S. Thank you, Ed, for impacting my life!
Why not enjoy these articles/podcasts from our recent “Faith Series?” Lots of encouragement, help, and hope!
- Ever Run Out Of Heroes?
- Faith Jump
- Fresh Faith For You
- Grow Up In Faith – 4 Tips
- Faith and Family
- Who Can You Trust These Days?
- True Story Of Faith
Visit our website for devotional materials, articles, podcasts, and resources to help grow your faith in God. Pursue noble character and have an Alive and Active Life.