Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Best Laid Plans...

OK. So Christmas plans went well. But the rest of the week was insane. All of our plans completely unraveled. We were supposed to have company, and they got sick. We had to be careful about the sick thing because we were going on vacation to be with hubby's family (and didn't want to risk getting all of them sick) -- and then that ended up not happening. At the first of the week, I was nearly pulling my hair out with frustration, like "Why are things not working?" But it didn't take long for it to became clear that, as crazy as it sounds, the Lord's hand was in the sickness and the many, many changed plans. We have witnessed tender mercies GALORE in our friends' lives (the ones who never got to stay at our house), we experienced some tender mercies of our own, and I have been taught again about trusting in the Lord.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own
understanding. [Make plans, yes, but don't worry if things don't work the way you planned! "All things work together for good to them that love God." Romans 8:28)] In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they
paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

(P.S. There might be more to come on this amazing week!)

12 comments:

Doug Towers said...

Your post makes me think of Joseph. There is a guy that really got the rough end of the stick (as they say). Life appears to have been going so well for him with such promises from God. Suddenly he is a miserable slave. He works his way up, and probably figured some day he would be free and go home. Then he gets sent to gaol as a convicted sex-offender. Another one claiming he is innocent. I mean that really is a test of trust in God. He doesn't give up, but improves his lot. We talk of the patience of Job, but I think Joseph should be thrown in there also.

M&M said...

I like that perspective on Joseph. I think there are many examples of this type of thing in the scriptures. Hmmmmm...a message, perhaps. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

Bradley said...

Thanks for the post. The question that remains for me is the origin of the illness. Did God cause the problems or did he simply take advantage of something that was going to occur anyway? I once heard it said that we'll be amazed someday at how much the angels were involved in our lives. I wonder to what extent they are working with us.

M&M said...

Bradley,
Your question is a really good one. I wonder about that myself. I will say that the way things all were, it really seemed that the illness played a significant role in making sure that our friends were where they needed to be for the tender mercies that God had for them. In the end, I try not to worry much about whether something is "caused" or "allowed" or "worked with" -- but rather about how those things can work together for good. I do think we will be amazed to see how involved God has been in our lives. Thanks much for the comment; you brought up very interesting points.

Doug Towers said...

It is an interesting question about God working with things. The Holy Ghost has told me to do things, that I have made excuses and not done. Then things turn out wrong because I didn't do it. But God then uses the wrong for a learning experience of something else. And you sit there wondering about just how much he engineered the whole thing. Some physical aspect may have gone wrong, but are we then better off spiritually for the lesson we have learnt? Along with a lesson to listen to the Spirit. He seems to turn losing situations into winning ones.

M&M said...

Doug,
Wonderful insights. Indeed, God takes our ashes and turns them into something beautiful. As long as we turn to Him, nothing can ever go permanently wrong, as Pres. Hunter said.

Alison Moore Smith said...

I needed to read this post today m&m. The details don't even so much matter as the fact that remembering to trust in the Lord is something that can serve us every single day if we let it.

Thanks.

M&M said...

Alison,
You are welcome, although I'm really not the one to thank, ya know? I'm always grateful when experiences with which the Lord has blessed me end up blessing someone else.

Interestingly, we had another simple yet meaningful make-plans-that-end-up-changing tender-mercy-filled night. It was related to a family activity that we had planned. Things changed, timing was perfect, and I think plan B will be much better. It never ceases to amaze me how much God cares about the details in our lives.

Bradley said...

My wife and I just read lesson 2 from the new Spencer W. Kimball manual and it has a lot to say about this topic. I'll probably have to write a whole post on how much it impressed me. But let me just share here this short bit. I'll let you read the full article for the impressive answer to his question.

"Did the Lord cause the man to suffer a heart attack? Was the death of the missionary untimely? Answer, if you can. I cannot, for though I know God has a major role in our lives, I do not know how much he causes to happen and how much he merely permits. Whatever the answer to this question, there is another I feel sure about.

"Could the Lord have prevented these tragedies? The answer is, Yes. The Lord is omnipotent, with all power to control our lives, save us pain, prevent all accidents, drive all planes and cars, feed us, protect us, save us from labor, effort, sickness, even from death, if he will. But he will not."

Doug Towers said...

I have to agree with your last sentence particularly, m&m. I sometimes think of something I'd like. I consider about asking God for it, but feel it too insignificant to bother him with. The next thing you know there it is. And he makes it ridiculously obvious that it wasn't coincidence. And they can be the silliest of things. One example - I have a laptop. But I wanted to have a video input card to put my family video tapes on to DVD (this was before cheap converting units). The cards I tried were no good. I thought of getting a desktop. But just didn't feel I could justify the extravagence to God. So someone came and gave me their old one because I set up their new one. A lot later I felt like playing this old DOS game. It required an old slow computer. Again I didn't feel I could justify needing 3 computers. At this point someone just gave me one. Some may say it is coincidence. But I just see this all the time. You just sit there shaking your head and having to love God that bit more, knowing he cares and listens to all my nonsense.

M&M said...

Bradley,
I love that quote by Pres. Kimball. And you have given me motivation to read the whole lesson! In the end, because God could prevent things that we don't like and has the power to do things that we do like, I just assume He's in control and try to trust that. Easier said than done (I had something really, really unpleasant happen to me, and it felt so painfully ironic. So, do I trust that God knows what's up? That He cares that this was so very hard? He could have changed things around to make the unpleasant event pass us by, because He HAS done that numerous times in my life!), but He didn't this time. So, what will I do about it all? I'm glad to have the chance to reflect yet again on this topic as I struggle with this negative thing right now. :) )

Doug, thanks for sharing your experience and testimony. I appreciate the conversation that has been going on here. Thanks to all! These are the types of conversations that make blogging a positive thing in my life. :)

Téa said...

I'll be teaching lesson two there in a couple of weeks and it's been very hard for me to separate some personal feelings from the prep so far. It will certainly be an interesting class period.