by Bill Parsons
“I have more tests tomorrow, and I sure hope we find out something. I haven’t slept much, and neither has my wife, since the doctor first mentioned the word cancer.”
I hung up the phone after calling my uncle. The last time we talked, they were excited about some of the homes in eastern Washington they had contemplated buying so they could retire in a few years in a quiet, small town. Now, they are “weighing their options.” Their future is in the results of the next round of tests. This was not what they had planned.
The day after that phone call, I went to work to find out that a superintendent on a neighboring jobsite had collapsed and died at the feet of his crew. Nothing had alerted anyone that he was even sick. That was not what his family had planned.
With parents at the 80-year mark, we dread answering a ringing phone past 10 p.m., but our last midnight phone call was our overjoyed daughter: ”I’m engaged!” Although we were very happy, we had to change our plan to gradually remodel on our household budget. “We think we might be pregnant.” Our son and his wife didn’t plan on having a child for several years. Those phone calls suddenly changed the plan we had for our lives.
Most of us like to set goals, make plans, dream dreams. This is all good, but we know life can change unexpectedly in a moment. Some changes come as a shock, others are more gradual; some bring happiness, some bring sadness. So how do we prepare ourselves for these changes? Or should we?
The questions I wrestle with as a Christian involves placing the future in God’s hands. How do I plan for the future, but not worry about it? It’s easy to say “Take it to the Lord in prayer,” “Spend time in the Word” “Let go, let God,” but I know when the money train came to a halt in my household, and it was impossible to pay the bills, it was an awful feeling to look my family in the eye and admit I was not able to provide for them.
The way I grew out of financial troubles was obedience. I continually prayed to become clay in His hands. However He wanted to solve our problems, I agreed to abide by it. I climbed up in His lap and said, “Take care of me, Daddy, I completely trust You.” Some of the things we had to go through were difficult, some were painful, most were humbling. But the more I put the future in His control, the more I understood what Paul meant: that our circumstances do not affect our relationship with Him. (Phil. 4:11)
Jesus promised us trouble in this world (John 16:33), but we will be joint heirs with Him in the next (Rom. 8:17). We have learned the sooner we grow closer to Him, the sooner He can bless us with His total and loving care. I pray you will learn the lesson more quickly than I did and place your complete trust in Him today and every day.