Friday, July 29, 2016
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Some people have wall-to-wall carpet. Some people have a wall-to-wall schedule. I think I'm one of those. And it was like that when we took our daughter to college. She and I had just returned from a mission's trip to the Philippines, and I had to be in Chicago Friday to produce radio programs and deliver her to college. It had to be perfectly timed.
Using some of my frequent flyer free tickets that I get from the airlines, all five of us Hutchcrafts flew to Chicago with a mountain of "moving to college" luggage that our daughter had. We landed at O' Hare Airport, only to learn that a 9" deluge of rain had just closed the airport to all cars going in or out. It was like that for many, many hours. Now my plans said I had to be at that studio, but apparently I didn't. My plans said my daughter had to be at college that day. Apparently, she didn't. In fact, thousands of people were fighting over those airport telephones-it was before cell phones-to change their plans. Every one of them had to be somewhere. No, they didn't. There are lots of days like that!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 2-Word Tranquilizer."
Plans are good. Schedules are good. They don't always work. Our word for today from the Word of God is from James 4:13-15. This is pretty cool. "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'"
Slowly but surely, this planner guy, this make-it-happen guy that I am, is beginning to understand the peace-giving power of these two little words, "Lord willing." Oh, they can become just a cliché. Or they can become a way of life. I'm by nature a planner. I believe God wants us to make our times count...our days count. Psalm 90:12 says, "to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom." I think that presumes a certain amount of priorities and thinking through and planning.
But in our wall-to-wall schedules, it's easy to rule out God's right to reschedule our day...to interrupt...to slow us down. And you know what? He often does, like that chaotic day at O' Hare Airport when all human plans were trashed.
I began to realize how much of my own stress I create by failing to say, "Here's my list, here's my goals, here's my plan, here's my schedule. Now, Lord, You are the Sovereign Lord of the universe, and my life, and this day. You have the complete right to change any of this. (Now here's the hard part.) And Lord, I'll be OK if You do." This is where we really test how much that word "Lord" really means to us when His plans intrude on our plans.
We get so frustrated when car trouble derails the plan, or an illness, a tragedy, an interruption, or a closed airport. But I can avoid so much grief if I allow the God of heaven to be the Lord of my calendar. I do that when I consult Him as I make my plans. And I do that when I make those plans saying, "We will, if the Lord wills." At that moment, you are relaxing in the wonderful sovereignty of an Almighty God. Of Whom the Bible says, "As for God, His way is perfect."
Two words, "Lord willing". It's more than a spiritual cliché. For us stress-filled planners, it could be the most powerful tranquilizer in the world.