His team had been working on the project for over a year. They had filed patents for an innovative solution that would greatly improve the efficiency of the new plant. The detailed design for the new plant had just been completed. The project team was eagerly anticipating starting construction of the new plant.
Then the president called him into his office and announced that the project was being cancelled due to lack of funds. He was informed that he had to lay-off his team that day, and then he had one week to wrap up the project before he would be laid-off.
Slowly he returned to his office. Turning toward the window and he took a deep breath, and reflected on his leadership of the project. As he reflected over the past year he knew that his hands, his heart and his lips were clean before God, before his team and before the leadership of the company.
Following his normal practice of seeking God’s wisdom before making any decisions, he cried out to God for wisdom. Knowing his natural inclination to bad mouth his employer, he prayed that God would keep his hands, his heart and his lips clean in the coming week. With a heavy heart for how this news would impact his team members, he prayed for each team member by name as well as the president and leadership of the company.
In the coming months he experienced the soul-ravaging misunderstanding of friends who blamed his leadership for causing the project to be cancelled. Then came the joy-crushing disappointment as a former co-worker claimed a prestigious award for building a plant based on his teams design. Through it all the Lord remained with him! The Power of the Most High continued to overshadow his life! He remained God’s child.
As he was packing his family to move to a job in another town, his pastor asked him how he was doing. He replied with joy, “Whether I am leading a project team, laying off people, or unemployed – God is with me. I am the Lord’s servant and God’s word to me will be fulfilled.”
Mary was anticipating celebrating her upcoming marriage with her family and friends and starting her family quietly in Nazareth. Her hands, her heart and her lips were pure before God. But then one day her wedding plans went out the window. Her life was totally turned upside down. Her whole life was rearranged.
An angel appeared to her, and told her that she would become pregnant before the wedding. Instead of a child who would carry on the family name, she would bear a son who would be the King of the house of David, a son who would be crucified but live forever, the Son of God who would save people from their sins.
Mary chose to believe the angel’s promise that “no word from God will ever fail.” In faith she replied “I am the Lord’s servant, May your word to me be fulfilled.” Because Mary chose to respond with grace, God, through Mary brought hope into our world. Because Mary chose to cling to the promises of God, God through Mary brought the promise of God, Jesus, into the world.
Over the next few years Mary would encounter the soul-ravaging misunderstanding of friends and the joy-crushing evil of Herod causing her to flee in the dark of night to Egypt. Yet she remained highly favored by God! The Lord remained with her! The Power of the Most High continued to overshadow her! She remained the child of God.
When something happens in your life which is not what you anticipate and your hands, heart and lips are pure before God, and you have heeded Godly advice and used the skills and talents that God has blessed you with to the best of your ability – than standing righteous before God’s throne you can with confidence proclaim “I am the Lord’s servant, May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Your circumstances do not alter God’s promises, or the fact that you are God’s child.
As you move forward trusting on God’s grace, God brings his grace and life giving water into the lives of those around you.
If you are celebrating today, or are walking on air as you walk from success to success, Jesus says to you today that your successes will not have the last word. Celebrate, and let others celebrate with you. But as you celebrate, remember that it is God’s love which defines you.
If your heart is broken, or you are wading through the deep waters of disappointment, Jesus says to you today that your tears will not have the last word. Weep and let others cry with you. But as you cry remember that it is God’s love which defines you.