By Elaine Reed,

ARP Women’s Ministries President

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV).

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?

A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass

In the Old Testament book bearing his name, God tells Jeremiah that before he was born, he was appointed for a particular path – to be a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah responds “Sovereign LORD…I do not know how to speak; I am too young” (Jeremiah 1:6 NIV).

Even though Jeremiah knew he was speaking with the Sovereign Lord— Yahweh—he still questioned his ability to serve in this position. Like Jeremiah, how often have you and I felt unqualified and doubted God’s prompting for our lives?

In his article, Do Our Lives Have Purpose? Lee Strobel writes, “Although God’s plans for us may not seem as grand as those God created Jeremiah for, God has important plans for our lives too. Everything that happens, from our birth to our death, is part of His grand design. We were not born of chance but of intention. Far from meaningless, our lives are instead rich in significance” (The Case for Christ Study Bible page 1039).

In times of joy or strife, we can take comfort in the fact we are not hidden from God. He knows what we are fac- ing and has ordained our days before one of them has come to pass (Psalm 139:16).

Just as God equipped many men and women recorded in the pages of scripture, He equips us today. How has God worked in your life? How has He been equipping you through your journey for the next challenge set aside for you? We will consider questions like these July 23rd at the 98th annual meeting.

This year’s theme is: Reflecting Back, Journeying Forward. This is not a meeting exclusively for delegates, but a time of spiritual refreshment open to all. God has inspired the ladies of the TN/AL Presbyterial to plan a fun, interesting, and unique experience.

Speakers Rosalynd Rennie, Shelia Osborne, Elizabeth Burns, Sherry Bartlett, and Joanne Hamilton will challenge us to consider how God’s sovereignty spans time—past, present, and future. I look forward to seeing you and the ladies of your church in July.