Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When Things Don't Go Your Way - Trust God

     Many of you are acquainted with the famous "Thayer" vacations I have written about in the past where "if something can go wrong, it will."  Our recent trip to our favorite spot (St. George Island) was no exception.  We had loaded up my husband's car with all our gear ready to enjoy a beach vacation with our daughter and son-in-law and three precious grandchildren.  The morning was hot, but we got the job done in short order.
Our grandson Gavin playing on the beach
 As we drove our car out to the mailbox, I remembered that we needed to get the mail.  When I hopped back in the car and closed the door, the electrical system shut down.  The engine was running but the air conditioning was not.  This had happened to my husband before and had been repaired or so we thought.  We restarted the car and everything worked fine.  However, we were concerned that this might happen in the middle of nowhere on our trip; so we backed up my husband's car and loaded mine.  While it took more time than we had wanted to spend, we were thankful that we were able to change vehicles before anything else happened.
     Upon arriving at the home we had rented for the week, we unloaded everything, and I began to preheat the oven for our evening meal.  After half an hour, I went back to check the oven and it was barely warm.  Naturally, it was a weekend night and the staff of the company that manages the upkeep of the house was not available.  I pondered what to do since we were all hungry.  I decided to turn the oven to 490 degrees and see what would happen.  Half an hour later, the oven was warmed up to around 350 degrees.  It was enough to complete the cooking although it took a little longer.  Was I frustrated?  Yes, but I have learned that it does no good to get upset about things we cannot change.  We have to trust God in all things.  I could not have said that earlier in my life when I was much younger in the Lord.  Experience in trusting God, maturity and time served learning patience as our four children grew up have helped me calm down in the face of difficulties.  After all, only God can change our circumstances.
     This was the case when Joshua and the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan to conquer the land which the Lord had promised them.  The task before them would not be easy.  It would require effort, but God had vowed to be with them.  Joshua was an able leader, but I am certain he questioned how he and his men could ever overcome the City of Jericho that lay before them (Chapter 6 of Joshua).  However, Joshua had seen God's mighty move as He led the children of Israel under the leadership of Moses, and he trusted God.  Alone, neither Joshua or his men could overcome the strength of Jericho; yet God had a plan.
     God's approach probably seemed unusual to those who listened as Joshua told them they were to march around the city each day for seven days.  On the seventh day, the soldiers, the priests carrying the Ark and trumpeters were to march around the city which was heavily walled seven times.  Then, they were to shout after the seventh time around and the walls would fall down.  The people obeyed Joshua and the walls came down.  Because of Joshua's obedience and leadership under God's direction, Jericho fell to the Children of Israel.
     Based on our own natural inclinations, I am certain no one would have tried to take Jericho in this manner.  Coming upon a thickly walled city filled with many people would seem like an impossible task, but Joshua and the Children of Israel trusted God.  This is the key when things don't always go our way.  We have to adjust, trust God, and seek His wisdom.
     This was true for us.  We did not have time to have my husband's car checked.  We had a timetable for our trip
when we came upon an obstacle.  What did we do?  We trusted the Lord to get us safely to our destination by taking another car instead of taking a chance on the road.  We also made adjustments when the oven did not work well.
     When faced with unanticipated complications, we have two choices.  Either we trust in the Lord to show us the way and thank Him for His provision or we get upset.  From experience, I can tell you that getting upset only hurts us.  Expending emotion over something we cannot change drains us of energy and leads to frustration.  However, when we trust in the Lord, He makes a way for us where there seems to be no way.  His provision is enough.
     Life in this fallen world will always present us with situations that don't work out as we had planned.  That is a given.  BUT...we serve a risen Savior who has overcome this world.  We must trust in Him when things don't go our way.  We must remember the words of Paul when he wrote:  "6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).  Selah!

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