Posted by James Lynch (+206) 13 years ago

You've sacrificed the little luxuries of going out to eat or going to the show so that you could save for the trip. You accepted weekend work assignments so the overtime pay could be directed to the "trip fund." Months ago you put in your request for the exact dates needed for vacation and you made deals with co-workers to make sure that those dates were secure. Family was drafted to deal with pet care and routine house and lawn maintenance. During the months of planning, saving and scrimping, you sustained and encouraged yourself by thinking about all the fun you were going to have when the day finally arrived. Brochures, maps, and internet websites were scoured and studied until every detail and possibility was committed to memory. You planned for every medical emergency and procured every legal document. You've packed and repacked and you have met every travel requirement being enforced. In short, you've done everything within you power to make sure that nothing spoils the pleasure you have anticipated and looked forward to for so long.

Then, your dream vacation turns into a nightmare when you and 3,000 fellow passengers are stranded more than forty miles at sea on a cruise ship that has no power due to an engine room fire. No air conditioning, no onboard shows and no entertainment. No freshly laundered bedding and hot towels. No prospect of wide sandy beaches and fun-filled days in a tropical paradise. Instead, you get cold water and are happy that the toilets still flush while you wait for helicopters to fly in emergency rations. Instead of dining on Foie Gras, Truffles and Caviar you are enjoying that most tasty American dish from a can - Spam!

About the only way to make those poor folks being slowly towed back to San Diego even more miserable would be to have them fly home on an Airbus A300! Life doesn't go according to plan and there are so many times when the things we thought were worth every sacrifice to possess turn into disappointments, heartaches or even tragedies. Reliability is a luxury that cannot be counted on in an unreliable world. Control is some-thing we've come to think of as a constitutional right, but so much is beyond our control and we are often forced to just go along for the ride (even if it's on a darkened cruise ship traveling at four miles per hour - so long as the tow lines don't break).

Christianity offers no exemption from life's challenges and disappointments but does provide what nothing else in the world can. It offers a Divine Plan. Everything in life does work according to God's plan. Christianity places the penitent sinner in the hands of a God who is reliable. Jesus is the Good Shepherd that leads us reliably to the Father. Christianity requires a total surrender of will to the only Savior worthy of that surrender because He is completely in control in every circumstance.

Vacations, whether it's a cruise, a trip to Disney world, or a motorcycle tour can be ruined by things we cannot plan for. They can be spoiled by the decisions and actions of people who are not reliable, or by events that are beyond anyone's control. But then these realities overtake us whether we go on vacation or not. The only constants in life are the love of God, the will of God and the word of God. When the apostle wanted to describe the Almighty to a religious society that did everything it could to be in control, he described God as the one who is "Lord of heaven and earth" (Acts 17:24). He "gives to all people life and breath and all things" (v. 25). He made "every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation" (v. 26). He is so fundamental to life that Paul would say, "for in Him we live and move and exist" (v. 28).
In a few words, Paul told them of a God who planned for their every need, who is reliable and who is in control. He has a plan for all that includes our repentance and a day of righteous judgment (vv. 30,31). When nothing is for sure, when plans go awry, and when control is totally lost - God is still God. Paul changed lives that day with just a few words of hope. Think of those you know, whose lives are adrift and need someone to share those same words of hope with them. Will you? God bless, have a great week, and keep working in the Word!

In His Service,
Jim Lynch, Evangelist
Miles City Church of Christ

[This message has been edited by James Lynch (11/13/2010)]
Posted by Robert L. Reyff (+34) 12 years ago
Amen! Romans 8:28.