What Are Your Best Laid Plans?

Jen’s Gem:  Let God’s Spirit Lead You

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed your holidays and are looking forward to all that 2023 will bring to you. Have you made any resolutions? Set new goals? Then you are one of the thirty-seven percent of Americans who resolved to make a change this year. Alas, I’m not one of the cool kids.

The month of December was a blur. My hopes of a restful holiday went out the window as various obligations pulled me in the opposite direction and kept me busier than ever. My social media feeds and email boxes are full of tips and tricks to make 2023 my best year – if only I had the time to read them!

A podcast that I listen to regularly has been talking about rest and its importance for our entire wellbeing – not just our physical health, but our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. The host spoke about scheduling time to rest in our calendars to ensure we actually do it. (Click here to listen to the series.)

But will that even work? I mean,  I can simply use my trusty eraser in my old-school calendar and replace those R&R moments with other more pressing tasks like taking down decorations or touching up scuffs on the walls of my condo.

Clearly – these tasks take  priority over naptime, no? Ummm…no. They actually don’t.

Here is what I have learned. If we don’t take a rest, our bodies will force us to. How? Well, have you been sick lately? That’s called forced rest. Our physical bodies were not built to go 24/7/365 and when we push them past their limit, well…something’s bound to break.

While I don’t think car parts can talk, glitches in my anti-lock brake module have caused the word “Brake” to display repeatedly on my dashboard. Out of nowhere, the warning will appear. The tachometer bounces all over the place and then the speedometer drops to zero and gets stuck there, so I have no idea how fast I’m going. 

Needless to say, it is jarring. While my mechanic assures me the car is safe to drive as I await the replacement part, there’s an underlying anxiety when these lights appear. I remind myself that the car is ok and that I’m safe. I then do my best to keep my eyes off the dashboard. I ignore the warning signs.

In His brilliance, God has given us many gifts that help us deal with the various warning signs in our lives. Our feelings are one of them. Our five senses another. We see danger ahead and avoid it. We feel unsettled about something, we take the appropriate action. 

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

One of the best gifts  God has given us is the Holy Spirit. A bonafide member of the

 Trinity, the Holy Spirit serves as our Guide, our Helper, our Comforter and so much more. Without Him, we are powerless over the fiery darts life throws at us.

Last month, I did a series on my Elevate the Day Facebook page on Proverbs. This book is filled with the wisdom of Solomon and gives us instructions on how to avoid the fiery darts all together. Combining God’s Word with obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit will enable us to withstand these dark days and live in victory. 

Why not resolve to make 2023 a year of getting more wisdom so you can spot those warning signs and take immediate action? They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and God’s Word is the best prevention out there!

“The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD.” (Isaiah 11:2)

I invite you to check out the videos as well as take a listen to the Elevate the Day podcast this past week in which Karen and I discuss the importance of rest and how you can learn to flow in the “unforced rhythms of grace.” I believe each will help you kick off 2023 on the right foot enabling all of your plans to come to fruition.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2023