I cut Magnolia leaves off of the branches of three magnolia trees across the street from our home and piled them in a grocery shopping bag. I hurried back across the street hoping the neighbors did not notice or if they did notice, that they did not care. So funny, doing this at the age of 43.
Three Magnolia trees right across the street. Check. I had wire & wire cutters. Check. I bought the grapevine wreath for a whopping $3.88 on sale. Check.
Why had I waited so long to make a simple magnolia wreath? I made assumptions and didn’t take into account what I had, what I needed and what I could do with what I had.
There is value in planning for what you desire. Without a plan or a determination to get there, most likely you won’t. What are you determined to have or do or finish or make or become or see happen?
- Plan for it now, not later when you think it will be easier. Easier usually never comes.
- Plan for it now, not later when you think you will have the resources. The resources may not come until you prepare first.
- Plan for it now, take note of what you already have, you may be surprised at what you actually possess.
Does God still expect us to plan, hope for and take steps toward our desires when it seems we are least able? The answer is a resounding yes and I’m right in the middle of learning “that yes” in a more profound way than ever before in this present season.
“Faith is the certainty of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
If we are convinced of something, by faith, then I believe we must begin to move towards it.
Resources do matter especially if you begin with what you have, in this present moment, and chose to not be paralyzed by what you may not have. The rest will come if you plan, prepare and practice for it now – when NOTHING makes sense!
- Determine what you have within your reach.
- Determine what you need to get and get what you can.
- Know what you can do, with what you have, and start doing it.
The “now factor” gets the ball rolling. In other words, you give it your best human effort and then see what God will do.
With the miracle of the five loaves of bread and two fish, the young boy gave what he had. “He didn’t let what he didn’t have, keep him from giving what he did have to Jesus. And that is the precursor to many a miracle!” – The Grave Robber, by Mark Batterson
When you have exhausted all your resources, give it your best shot and see nothing happening – keep practicing what you know.
“Remember the Lord’s Prayer? “Give us this day our daily bread.” What we really wish is that it said weekly or monthly or yearly bread. That way we wouldn’t have to depend on Him on a daily basis! But that’s when God has us right where He wants us. Spiritual maturity is not self-sufficiency.” – The Grave Robber by Mark Batterson
I’m sure you’re wondering what the point is and what does a magnolia wreath have to do with miracles and life and you. The wreath is something I wanted. A signature magnolia wreath is $98. My assumption was, even to make my own wreath would probably cost half of that.
My assumption was false.
If you are praying for a miracle God expects you to do what you can, instead of focusing on what you do not have or what you assume you cannot obtain.
When you wipe out your assumptions you’ll be surprised at the options that appear. When you are actively looking into what you can do, it’s harder to focus on what you can not do.
In God’s economy, the numbers never seem to add up. So just do what you can and trust him for the rest. Eventually, the little hand on the clock will move ever so slightly to the invisible “just in time” Roman numeral and when God steps on the scene suddenly our efforts will be multiplied like the 5 loaves of bread and two fish and they fed thousands.
He can’t multiple what we are not willing to plan, prepare and practice by faith. Our only assumption should be, God is able!
So I’m finishing up making my first magnolia wreath for $3.88 and I’m writing down what God is pressing deep into my heart during this season of transition. There are things that are within my reach and your reach if we will wipe out our present assumptions. Let’s Plan, prepare and practice what you and I are convinced of and know God is able!
P.S. If your struggling with being convinced read Romans 4 and check out my blog post, Be Convinced.