“Never make little plans” were the words Anita said to me on November 25, 2009 when I shared with her what I believed God instructed me to do and that is to develop a second campus for the Eduplex. She quoted Daniel Burnham, the architect that designed Chicago after the big fire and whose words she read a mere 3 weeks before in the Chicago library.
He said “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistence. Remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.”
A few weeks ago the Executive Mayor of Tshwane (the greater Pretoria area) officially opened the high school and I was reminded about Anita and Burnham’s words when the guests were in awe of what God has done. How different it would have been had I acted in fear, made little plans… instead of acting in faith. Had I invested in temporary classrooms because of fear, looking at what I had, instead of constructing proper facilities in faith, we would have had nothing to show, nothing to celebrate, no magic to stir men’s blood … because it was from man. It was God that multiplied the widow’s little bit of oil, He could, and did do the same for us.
And yet, as I look at my notes over the past 4 years since November 25, 2009, I see how real the fear and panic were that I struggled with. One entry even questioned the ‘big plan’ of a second campus and whether I should not rather scale back…and make little plans. But God was gracious and gave me strength, strength to believe not in my own resources, but in His resources!
And as I trusted Him, I was strengthened by His word…
“So now, My son, may the Lord be with you and prosper you as you do what He told you to do and build the Temple of the Lord…..Be strong and courageous, fearless and enthusiastic! (1 Chronicles 22:11+13)
“Be strong and courageous and get to work. Don’t be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord your my God is with you; He will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly”. (1 Chronicles 28:20)
“…the work ahead of him is enormous; for the temple he will build is not just another building – it is for the Lord God himself! (1 Chronicles 29:1b)
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty – you will succeed because of my Spirit, though you are few and weak. Therefore no mountain, however high, can stand before Zerubbabel! For it will flatten out before him! (Zechariah 4:6+7)
If you have been following my blogs you will know that this verse weaves like a golden thread throughout the history of the Eduplex and God continues to remind me of it. In addition, it continues to be a very strong warning that I should not try to part the waters of the Red Sea (try to do the impossible) in my own strength because it will fail. I should rather leave it to God. He can make the impossible, possible.
God knows my strengths, but He knows my weaknesses even better. I can “make things happen” and this strength has over the years mostly become a severe weakness as I catch myself relying on my own ability, my own resources and slowly moving away from complete trust in God….and then? Then fear sets in at the first hurdle that I encounter. I am reminded of the words that ‘unguarded strengths can become a double weakness’ and how true this is in my own life.
On the few occasions that I did trust, I started seeing wonder upon wonder, just as God promised years ago. I saw doors open (Revelation 3:8) I never thought possible and I saw miracles happen before my very own eyes. But I had to give the first step in faith and God’s power kicked in behind me, giving me more than I ever could have dreamed, asked or even prayed for.
December last year I prayed for the year ahead and the Holy Spirit guided me to read Isaiah 29:11 (the vision) verse 14 (once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder) and verse 18 (in that day the deaf will hear…). I asked “Lord, will we see even more miracles than the past year?” He said “Yes, you will see more”. The first 2 months of this year we have seen more miracles happen than ever before, just as He has promised!
I want to encourage you dear reader to TRUST God, to have faith, yes, even if it is the size of a mustard seed…and God will part the waters. May you and I by God’s grace NEVER MAKE LITTLE PLANS as we trust in HIM and His resources rather than in our own and then see God’s magic that will stir men’s blood.