Let me tell you a story…(part 1)

Dear Friends,

Once upon a time there were two people who lived a pretty good life together.  They had a plan…and more blessings than they could count.  They knew that they were graced to have good jobs and each other, as well.  God gave them a beautiful home…and then He said, “Move.”

They moved.  God gave them a beautiful place in the middle of nowhere and one of them got a new job, too. They lived pretty well in this beautiful new place.  It took both of them working to do so, but they were able to afford the life they lived and God was abundantly good to them.  They still had a plan…and it was good.

Through a series of strange events, the man was diagnosed with cancer.  The odds weren’t good.  God was.  The man survived and they lived to tell the tale of a God who lovingly provides for his people in amazing ways.

With cancer gone, the plan was resumed.  After all, it was a good plan.  Still, they weren’t completely satisfied.  They had issues…at work.  Knowing that they served a God of grace and answers, they prayed regularly and asked God for the following:  Please change the situation, the person in it, the situation around the person, etc…any variable they could think of, they included.

God listened and He responded.

One of the people lost their job.

Both of the people went into an immediate celebration mode.  Other people were stunned.  They couldn’t believe the response!  This was supposed to be taken more seriously!  One salary couldn’t possibly support the life they had!  How could these people be not only calm, but overjoyed?!

That’s an easy one:  because the people could see God’s hand at work!  It didn’t matter if it came packaged in an uncomfortable way.  GOD had answered their prayer…He was changing things!  In the process, He was changing THEM.

And then, God said, “Move.”  One of the people balked a bit.  It wasn’t part of their plan.  It took some time for her to get on board with the new plan, but they moved.  This time, there was only one job.  The people had lots of questions:  “One salary instead of two?  We’ve never done this before!  Are you absolutely sure, God?!  How can we possibly live on just half?!”  God smiled and said, “Yes.  I’m sure.  Now, move.”

God was good.  He was patient and kind…and firm.  He had other plans for them.

He had led them out of the fire into a different one.  Then He led them out of that fire into another one…but He never left them.  They lost count of the fires, but they never lost sight of God.  He stayed with them and walked with them and He held their hands and when they cried, He collected their tears in a bottle and He gave them laughter and He worked on them—because there was a LOT of work to do!  The people realized that their plan wasn’t God’s plan—after all, it was pretty evident that their plan wasn’t working.  It was equally evident that God had a different plan and that His was the best of all.

The people still have days when they look back at their plan and sometimes they’re still a little sad that it didn’t come true, but they are very aware that God’s ways are always best and that His very best is still yet to come…

And they lived happily ever after. (That’s fairy-tale for “God is always with them and that’s the best way to live.”)

“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze….

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:2, 18-19

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”  ~Robert Browning

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