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The year was 1972 and I had no idea about the “Plans I have for You.” Alan was a First Lieutenant in the Air Force. We were stationed at McClellan AFB in Sacramento, CA. The Air Force had a campaign that encouraged their officers to participate in financial planning seminars. These types of seminars are very common now, but in 1972, the concept was relatively new. At any rate, Alan and I went to the free dinner at a nice hotel. The presentation began and this is what I remember:
The room was full of young officers and their wives with packets of information and pens in hand as the presenter walked to his white board. He began to write $ signs and different amounts of money on his board. He illustrated how a small savings every month could grow into an enormous amount over the long-term. However, you had to be consistent in saving every month and never withdraw the money.
This probably seems pretty innocuous to all of you but I was going into a panic attack.
One of my values about money had been that money is evil and rich people are evil. But here I was hearing words like wealth and accumulation and millionaire.
Another value I had about money was it is personal and should NEVER be discussed in public. But here I was in a room full of people talking about money.
Another, more practical thought, was that we only made $540 a month, and what idiot thinks we have any money to save?
I was in such a state of anxiety that I got up and left the room. I sat down in the lobby next to the fireplace because I was actually shaking. As I sat there with tears streaming down my face, I kept repeating the same questions in my mind: What am I doing here? Why am I listening to this?
Suddenly, I felt, rather than heard an answer a quiet, calming, rational reply to my frantic questions: “I want you to be able to give back to me for a lifetime.”
What did that mean? I was not a Christian at the time but I now attribute that voice to God. I did not know what He meant but I knew it was Him. I was immediately warm, my shaking stopped and I felt an indescribable peace. I did not need any more information, I just knew I was supposed to go back in the conference room and do what the presenter was telling us to do.
Now, many years later, God’s plan is revealed. Because we were faithful in the little, we are in a position to partner with God in a ministry that He had already planned – MarriageTeam. There is an indescribable satisfaction that comes with obediently following God and we get to see the miracle of dead marriages coming back to life every single week.
God has a plan for you. Seek it and let nothing stand in your way to achieve it. Ask not. What have I got to lose? Rather ask, What have I got to gain?
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