Thursday, May 5, 2011
Most people, who know my husband and me, know that our daily schedules are usually full and running over. For those who REALLY know us, that could be an understatement from their point of their view!
On one occasion, our week was planned with no extra time to spare. I was preparing for an upcoming dinner gathering of a dozen folks and was focusing on cleaning, cooking, decorating, food preparation, etc. In addition, there was also a lesson to write for a Bible study group that I was hosting in my home. On Monday of that week everything was going very smoothly and I was in “full speed ahead” mode, as only I can do! However, that night I was suddenly awakened with a terrible tooth ache. The entire left side of my face was in excruciating pain.
The next day, after consulting with my dentist, I was informed that I needed a root canal and a new crown! Along with the inconvenience of this unexpected news, I was now looking at having to spend almost $1,800.00 that had not been budgeted! None of this was welcome news. My dentist also explained that I might have extreme pain until the infection was gone. I thought to myself, “No, God, this was not in my plans for this week!” But, after a moment of reflection, I smiled as peace returned to my heart. It was in that moment that I thought of these verses of scripture: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways”, declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 8-9. Because I was familiar with that verse of scripture and had studied it a short time earlier, God was able to bring peace to this inconvenient situation. Thankfully, after starting antibiotics for the infection, my pain was minimal and I was able to continue preparation for my commitments. In all of my planning, I did not realize that perhaps God had other plans for me that week.
Here’s the neat thing! At the dentist office, I was able to share my faith in Jesus Christ with two women, and prior to that, with a young woman at the grocery store. Had I stayed on my exact schedule, I would not have been at either place on that particular day. There is no doubt that God rearranged my plans to allow me these three “divine appointments” that needed to be kept, even though it was not on my schedule.
God knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows our situation better than we know it ourselves. He has already been where we are and He even sees the outcome. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us the following: “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” His plans are for our good, even when things do not go the way we wish they would. He wants us to look to Him even when we do not understand where He may be taking us, or what He is up to. “He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will not slumber..” Psalm 121:3. He is always working day and night on our behalf.
When we begin to feel concerned about the inconveniences that life throws at us, we should always remember that perhaps God is bringing this into our lives so that we will learn to more fully rely on Him and less on ourselves. He then can work in the lives of others by placing us in their path. He is always working in our lives, even though we cannot see the big picture. If we always acknowledge Him, He will direct our path.
“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.” Proverbs 3: 5-6
Note: All scripture is taken from the New International Version (NIV) Bible.