By Linda Maynard
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” -- Proverbs 19:21
By now the story of WOW’s inception has become a bit of lore in our circle – one woman asking two of her friends to help her plan a purse party; the friends responding with an enthusiastic “Yes!” and then asking the infamous follow-up question – “What’s a purse party?”
The story has brought about a few chuckles over the years, but it also clearly illustrates one important truth about WOW – every phase of our journey has been marked and sustained by complete dependency on God. From that first meeting – which ended with a huddled prayer in Panera – WOW has continued to seek the heart and plans of God by laying our petitions at His feet. Our four-year journey has seen:
- Three senior pastors (including interim),
- Five pastoral/staff directors,
- Many changes and additions to our fund- and awareness-raising activities,
- Several missions trips, and
- Countless personal/family trials and triumphs!
Yet, God still guided us through each and every bend in the road to accomplish His work for the poor and oppressed locally and globally. Moreover, He has added to our sisterhood through hundreds of Friends of WOW -- including a handful of very special friends.
The year 2015 has equaled its predecessors with elements of change and unanswered questions. And – just as in previous years – with change comes the temptation to focus on circumstances and allow fear and frustrations to overtake us. Times like these make scriptures like Proverbs 19:21 so encouraging.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”
In his Bible Commentary, Matthew Henry writes, that men’s “devices (are) unlike God’s counsels; men are wavering in their devices, and often absurd and unjust, but God’s counsels are wise and holy, steady and uniform…Various men have various designs, according as their inclination or interest leads them, but the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand, whatever becomes of the devices of men. His counsel often breaks men’s measures and baffles their devices; but their devices cannot in the least alter his counsel, not disturb the proceedings of it, nor put him upon new counsels, Isa. 14:24; 46:11. …What comfort does this speak to all God’s people, that all God’s purposes, which we are sure are right and good, shall be accomplished in due time!”
Is that not exactly what WOW has seen? We have been baffled, conflicted, frustrated and hemmed in many times during our existence, but “God’s purposes” always have prevailed. So, what does that say to us now? Proverbs 3:5-6 states it best:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Father, thank You for always guiding our paths. In our pride, we can think we have all the answers; but only You are all-knowing. As we look ahead, please help us remember the lessons of the past, including the all-important lesson that You are in control and that it is Your purposes that ultimately will stand. May we fix our eyes on You, seek You continually and trust Your wisdom, and may Your will be done. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.