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Determination

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord,
‘plans for welfare and not for calamity
to give you a future and a hope.’
Jeremiah 29:11

I’ve told you about Mason David Gillham, our son who has been with the Lord since he was twelve years old. He suffered from a very rare disease called Hurlers’ Syndrome. Our doctor’s final diagnosis proved to be true: “Mrs. Gillham, your son is incurably ill and will be hopelessly retarded.”

Mace had the mentality of perhaps a two-year old. He definitely had limitations, but determination was not one of them. How well I remember watching him “work” a puzzle with big, wooden pieces. If he picked one up that didn’t fit where he wanted it to fit, he would grit his teeth, get this determined look on his face, and “grind” that piece of puzzle into the place he had chosen for it! And could he ever grind! He was as strong as a bull. It was that way with everything. That inner determination drove him to persevere at what he started.

You see the spiritual truth already, don’t you? Of course, you do. You determine what you are going to do and you grind, and grind, and grind until the task is done! No. That perspective doesn’t fit with New Covenant teaching. John 15:5 says, “Without Him I can do nothing.” II Cor. 3:5 says, “Not that I am sufficient for anything within myself; my sufficiency comes from God.” Romans 15:18 says, “I dare not speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me.”

I’m seeing something entirely different. God is Mason. He has determined where we will fit into His “puzzle,” what is going to be necessary to bring that about, and He will persevere until He gets it done! Romans 8: 29 gives us the plan He is determined to complete: …we are ‘predestined’ to become conformed to the image of His Son.

There it is! His mind is made up and He will not stop “grinding” until the job is finished just the way He has planned. Philippians 1:6 says it this way: I am very confident of this one thing. Jesus began this work and He will complete it perfectly (my paraphrase). So God has to sand off–or perhaps grind off if the edges are really rough–so we will eventually “fit” into the design He has planned for us. That’s a wonderful thing not a scary thing.

So we pray, “Lord, I want to be like Jesus. I know there’s going to be a lot of heavy sanding to do. That’s okay. The finished product will fit beautifully into Your plan and that’s worth the ‘grinding.’ So I place myself in Your hands and I see that determination in Your eyes. Thank You, precious Lord Jesus.”

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.