Here's the Plan

09/23/2010

 

 

 

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. –Jeremiah 29:11-14

 

 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

-2 Timothy 1:8-10 

 

Let’s go out on a limb and assume that something today will not go according to plan. Perhaps a phone call or email intercedes with information that demands immediate action. Maybe a customer or co-worker needs something immediately and you have to literally drop what you’re doing and respond. Or perhaps you’ll get sick, have an epiphany, find some money, lose some money or learn that a hurricane is bearing down on your city. None of these things were in your plan for today but that doesn’t matter now because the situation has changed.

Scott Hollinger spoke at Hempfield last Sunday. This physical, outdoorsy husband and father learned a few years ago that he had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and he shared his testimony with us. (Here’s a link for more information on ALS: http://www.als-mda.org/disease/) As an athlete, he likened the onset of this disease to a “game-changing moment” in a sports contest. “It’s like you’ve lost your starting quarterback, center, running back and wide receiver,” Scott said. “They’re laying there all busted up and the trainer is wondering who to help first...but that team still has to play the game. They can't quit, they can't forfeit, they can't give up then and there just because they lost some guys."

Scott obviously didn’t plan to have ALS. His wife didn’t plan to one day lose her husband and his children didn’t plan to one day lose their father. But all that matters now is where they all go from here.

How arrogant our plans must seem sometimes to the God who breathed the Universe into existence!  We read in the book of James: Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:13-14). Did you ever watch a group of children hatch an elaborate plan? It’s hilarious and often goes something like this: "OK, OK, (pant pant) when I count to three, everyone has to run over to the jungle gym and jump as high as they can, (pant pant) then take a piece of mulch and throw it on the slide and the first one who can hop on one leg all the way to that sandbox gets to decide what we’re doing next!” Do you think our adult plans sound even this well thought-out to God?

One of the many blessings in hanging around older Christians is seeing how so many of them have come to believe that God really is in control and that His plans are the best ones. "Though I still plan," says former  BCM missionary Patricia Cox, "I know without a doubt that God's plan must supersede my plan--mainly because His plan will work! My plans are not proven and often should be scrapped. Flexibility is the key--bending rather than breaking is good physically, emotionally and mentally. I've learned that bending to God's will is ultimately best for everyone."

In first grade I wanted to be the Governor of Pennsylvania. The allure, according to the surviving documentation, was that I could go anywhere I wanted without even having to drive. While some people enter politics today for this exact reason, I for one am glad that I abandoned my plans to be a politician, artist, professional athlete and a thousand other things. Remember, God says in Jeremiah that He knows the plans He has for us. There is no indication that we’re supposed to share in the knowledge of these plans and the reality is that if we knew God’s plans we’d probably mess them up considerably. You might as well give an NFL playbook to the PeeWee squad.

Scott Hollinger trusts his coach and is doing the best he can with his second-string team. These players don’t have the physical tools of the starters but they are deeper and they work harder. They’ve always had to work harder, awaiting their chance to get in the game. “When I get to the end zone, I’m not going to spike the ball,” says Scott as he describes his arrival in Heaven. “I’m going to hand the ball to the ref and go over to the sidelines and hug my coach and thank him for believing in me.”

Now that sounds like a plan!

 

 

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There are 3 comments

It's always nice when our wives support us!

Shawn
September 24, 2010 - 10:34

Well done Honey. Glad you didn't become Governor!!!

Karen
September 24, 2010 - 06:10

You can hear Scott's testimony on our website at:

Scott's Testimony

Pastor Kent
September 23, 2010 - 10:13
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