God’s Plans; January 6, 2023

Luke 19:41-42 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.

God’s plans, and specifically how we fit into them, are often a mystery to us. The people of Jerusalem – the majority, and certainly the leaders – were unable to recognize who and what Jesus was, but if they had recognized it at this point, the redemption of the cross would not have taken place. That’s beyond our mental and emotional power to calculate and comprehend. Jesus wept over the city because it had to be this way, not because of His own anticipated suffering but because of the multiplied suffering that would happen leading up to and following the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. Mankind’s sin had set the course, and history was going to follow it. There are many, many things in human history that are totally tragic, yet God has worked good in and through it regardless. We really can’t wrap our minds around that. Romans 8:28 is of vital importance, but we grasp its truth only sometimes and never totally, it would seem. I’m reminded of the Southern Gospel song, We Will Understand it Better By and By. “Sophisticates” turn their noses up at such songs, but that doesn’t make them any less true. Like Jesus, we too at times weep over the state of the world, and sometimes even our own situation, but faith will lead us through that. As John wrote, “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4) That’s not “faith” that everything will turn into a bed of roses, because it won’t. And anyway, roses have thorns! It is faith that God is God, He knows what is going on, and He has a plan that, though we can’t comprehend it at this point, will work out for our blessing and His glory.

I have had plenty of training in this area, particularly in recent years with my wife’s health issues. As I tell people frequently, I know that God isn’t mean and He doesn’t pick on us. I also know that He is far more interested in our character than our comfort. That doesn’t mean I have to like any particular detail of my life, but it does mean I need to submit and surrender it to God, for Him to make the use of it that He intends. Tears aren’t anything to be ashamed of, but I’m not to dwell on the negatives, but rather look forward with great anticipation to God’s resolution of everything. At this point I am looking at roughly three months of a very empty schedule. Just as God has gotten me through the past months of Cathy’s hospitalization and the hectic Christmas season, He will get me through the next three months as well – as well as every day for the rest of my life. I am to focus on Him and let Him dictate how I spend each moment, whether my flesh is happy about it or not.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I am frequently confronted with my own immaturity. As You have told me to do, help me rest, relax, and rejoice in You, allowing You to use me or not use me however You please, in complete trust that Your plans are perfect, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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