Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Plan 7

Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. a group from Crossroads gathered to head up to Creationfest West in Enumclaw, Washington. They were prepared for their long drive and were excited about the week that lay ahead for them. There was just one problem. The church bus wouldn’t start. They tried jumping it as the batteries didn’t appear to be fully charged. They called AAA with their larger capacity jump ability to try to start it without success. They bought new batteries, and still it wouldn’t start, even having AAA (Caveman Towing) come back. Finally, after isolating some clicking which they finally started hearing, they unplugged one connection and it started and stayed running. But loading the group in the bus and risking it not starting later did not seem like a wise option. So, they drove it over to a local specialty shop to check it out, finding that it was the starter. And of course, the shop didn’t have the right one in stock. Their option then was to wait and miss part of the event on opening day, or…. The group and its leadership talked about their options and decided to take personal vehicles instead. I think it was about seven hours later when they finally got on the road. As they were pulling out, with our van as one of the vehicles, I saw on the side of one of the other vehicles—“Plan 7 Drive Cars” (I think I remembered it right).

This in itself could have proven disastrous to many groups as their leaders and participants grew increasingly frustrated with the situation and even began to take it out on one another. But this was not the case. This group began its day with prayer and they continued to pray and seek wise counsel all along the way. When they left I sensed the same attitude of excitement and expectation that began the day; speaking highly of both the leadership and the youth. I am looking forward to the stories they have to share upon their return.

I don’t know why the bus didn’t start this time when it started just fine when the service facility went over it thoroughly or when the driver had just checked it out. But on this day it wouldn’t start resulting in their departure being extensively delayed and another means to the event eventually being taken. I think we can all relate with things like this. We all have times in our lives when our plans are forced to change, and I suspect that there are more than just myself that don’t respond properly every time.

We don’t know why one person becomes ill and another doesn’t, why one’s house burns down and the neighbor is safe, why some get laid off from work and others don’t, why one person’s house sells and the one right next door (maybe even a better deal) does not. The list of questions we have for which we don’t have answers is endless. It is here that seeking understanding can be an elusive and maybe even frustrating exercise.

God knows this, and He tells us what to do in these situations, which is to come to Him. Sarah writes today with Proverbs 3:5-6 in mind which reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” God never tells us that He will explain everything to us or give us all of the answers. What He does tell us is to trust Him fully, especially in those times when we don’t have the answers to the problems we face. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that our God is faithful to limit each and every situation to that which He also gives us the ability to endure. In James 1:2-4 we read that it is through these trials of life that He grows us to full maturity. And in this James tells us that we are to endure these events with the joy of knowing that our God is busy doing His good work in us (see also Romans 8:28).

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (8/7)

Understanding will never bring you Peace. That’s why I have instructed you to trust in Me, not in your understanding. Human beings have a voracious appetite for trying to figure things out, in order to gain a sense of mastery over their lives. But the world presents you with an endless series of problems. As soon as you master one set, another pops up to challenge you. The relief you had anticipated is short-lived. Soon your mind is gearing up again: searching for understanding (mastery), instead of seeking Me (your Master).

The wisest of all men, Solomon, could never think his way through to Peace. His vast understanding resulted in feelings of futility, rather than in fulfillment. Finally, he lost his way and succumbed to the will of his wives by worshiping idols. My Peace is not an elusive goal, hidden at the center of some complicated maze. Actually, you are always enveloped in Peace, which is inherent in My Presence. As you look to Me, you gain awareness of this precious Peace.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

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