Monday, March 05, 2007

LOVE as an agenda

1 Corinthians 13:8 Love Never Fails

Over the course of the past few weeks, I've been going through a particularly challenging set of negotiations in my company and my husband and I have been seeking God's direction in what often felt like a desperate way.

As we asked for support and prayer from various people around us, one of them who is particularly insightful told me last week that the word that kept coming to her was LOVE and that through everything that my husband and I were going through, the words from 1st Corinthians 13, verse 8 kept going through her mind "Love Never Fails".

While I knew that the premise was totally correct, I had no idea how it could play into a business negotiation.

I kept seeking God's face and I kept asking in my prayers to be in the center of God's will. The Lord kept impressing on me that to be in the center of his will was safe, but it isn't always comfortable. So I was prepared that if the negotiations broke down, which could mean bankruptcy for our new company, that somehow God would use that for His own glory. I didn't know what that really meant or looked like, and certainly didn't want that to be the outcome, but my husband kept reminding me that the "How is God's department" and that we had to just trust that He was in control.

On Saturday at a meeting to prepare for serving on the next Tres Dias weekend in April, I felt led to share one of my favorite scriptures with two of the women on my team. It is from Psalm 139.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

The circumstances behind why I shared it with them had to do with something totally different than God was about to use it for in my life.

On Sunday morning, our pastor Dan Dunn shared, you guessed it, from Psalm 139 and talked about this passage in particular and explained that this scripture talks about the fact that before we were even born, God's personal plan for our lives was written, day by day. As Christians, we refer to this as "God's Will" for our lives.

Yesterday I shared with my kids, before the final negotiation call was scheduled with my partner, what being in God's will is all about. I told them about God's book of life for me, their mommy, that had a page for March 4, 2007 and how His ideal outcome for my day was written there. We talked about how much happier their lives are when they do what mommy and daddy ask of them and how we have an ideal way that we'd like to see each of their days unfold. I asked them to get on their knees at 1pm, precisely when I'd be on the phone with my partner and pray that mommy would see what was on today's page for me.

When I got to the office to prepare for the call, I cleaned off my desk and grabbed a couple of packets of sticky notes. I'm famous for using them to lay out various plans and things to be done in my office. One packet was lime green, a color that God reminded me is the shade that a plant takes on when there is new growth. The other was purple, the color of royalty. I was reminded that I am a child of the King of heaven and earth and that I have the right to come before His throne and ask for His wisdom.

On the green notes, I wrote the ideal outcome of the negotiations, knowing that the HOW was still God's department. Then I wrote down on the purple notes, the key words from the chapter of 1st Corinthians that Pastor Dan reminded us that he would be preaching from next week, the chapter on LOVE. I started to see how God would use LOVE as the agenda for my call. I highlight the words that I wrote on each of the purple sticky notes.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails.

The outcome of the call was better than I could have asked for or expected. I was able to share my heart's desire for restoration of the relationship and the place we got to in the business negotiation was a place where I did not feel taken advantage of. In fact, after the call, in the final agreement documents, I found myself putting in elements that my partner hadn't even asked for in the settlement. I was led by a power much much higher than myself.

In fact, the earlier part of 1st Corinthians 13 reminds us that without love, we are nothing.

God's agenda is a good one, a practical one. God's ideal for our lives involves peace and safety and if we ask Him for wisdom about what He wants us to do today, He will show us, a step at a time.

I am still desperate, but it is not being desperate wondering what is going to happen next, instead I am desperate to know Him more deeply and to be totally in tune with what is in the page for March 5, 2007 as his perfect, ideal outcome for today. Let me be in your will, wanting your outcome, not mine.

I pray that if you are facing difficult decisions in your life, that you will seek God's agenda and remember that LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Chicke Fitzgerald

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