Friday, April 20

Interrupted Plans

I continue to be blessed by the Elisabeth Elliot daily devotionals received from Back to the Bible. These thoughts from April 11, 13 & 15 have been especially pertinent to some personal family difficulties we are going through these days...

"We like things to go smoothly and as planned. Very often unexpected things intervene, and our plans go awry. We think we've got "problems." There is another level at which everything that happens is being engineered. "God has no problems," Corrie ten Boom said, "only plans." When ours are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) "toward the goal of true maturity" (Rom 12:2 JBP). Believe God. Turn the interruptions over to Him. He is at the controls...
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Being very much of the earth--earthy--we always want tangible, visible things--proofs, demonstrations, something to latch onto. If we always had them, of course, faith would be "struck blind." When Jesus hung on a cross, the challenge was flung at Him: Come down! He stayed nailed, not so that spectators would be satisfied (that miracle, his coming down, would have been a great crowd-pleaser), but that the world might be saved.

Many of our prayers are directed toward the quick and easy solution. Long-suffering is sometimes the only means by which the greater glory of God will be served, and this is, for the moment, invisible. We must persist in faith. God has a splendid purpose. Believe in order to see it...

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When we are puzzled by delays and detours, let us think about the great purpose of life: to glorify God. The lessons He wants to teach us "in the wilderness" are priceless means of providing us with a song we could not otherwise have sung: "In Thy constant love Thou hast led the people!" (Ex 15:13).

"Our troubles are slight and short-lived,
and their outcome an eternal glory which outweighs them far.
Meanwhile our eyes are fixed, not on the things that are seen,
but on the things that are unseen"
(2 Cor 4:17, 18 NEB).

To read a more personal account of some of the trials we are going through, I would invite you read my wife's blog entry Heartbroken. We would appreciate your prayers for us these days.

14 comments:

Darrell said...

Guy I will add this my prayers for you and Guayaquil.

Boy can I relate to:
"Many of our prayers are directed toward the quick and easy solution. Long-suffering is sometimes the only means by which the greater glory of God will be served, and this is, for the moment, invisible. We must persist in faith. God has a splendid purpose. Believe in order to see it..."

I asked and prayed for long-suuering more this year then any other in my life!

Strider said...

And I was concerned because my daughter is failing algebra! We are praying for you and your family Guy. As my boss sometimes says, 'God is passionately committed to your sanctification.' That is one of those painful promises that applies to both you and your son. God Bless.

David Rogers said...

Guy,

Three years ago, we were at a similar place in our lives, when family concerns led us to leave Extremadura, where we had been for 10 years, which was almost 1/4 of our lives, and where we left more than 1/4 of our hearts, to come to Madrid.

A song that has ministered to me during and since that time is "Lead of Love" by Caedmon's Call. We have embraced by faith the message it contains, and have also been blessed to have experienced now, by sight, the fulfillment of a great part of God's "lead of love."

Anyway, here are the lyrics:

-----------------
Looking back at the road so far
The journey's left its share of scars
Mostly from leaving the narrow and straight

Looking back it is clear to me
That a man is more than the sum of his deeds
And how You've made good of this mess I've made
Is a profound mystery

Looking back You know You had to bring me through
All that I was so afraid of
Though I questioned the sky, now I see why
Had to walk the rocks to see the mountain view
Looking back I see the lead of love

Looking back I can finally see (I'd rather have wisdom)
How failures bring humility (than be)
Brings me to my knees (a comfortable fool)
Helps me see my need for Thee
--------------------

I pray God will give you the grace to see and experience his "lead of love" in the days ahead. "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face."

bryan riley said...

I will intercede from here in England for you and your family, Guy. As hard as it is, we must never question the character of God. He has never failed us and never will.

bryan riley said...

It is those times of questions when God invites us to reason together with Him. Dig deeper into Him rather than pulling away in doubt. Contend with God about this and proclaim His faithfulness.

God, I knwo that you are absolutely good, loving, kind, faithful, gracious, merciful, just and forgiving. Show me what aspect of your character I need a greater understanding of right now to meet my greatest need. Reveal yourself to me in this difficult situation!!!

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

Guy,

In a very difficult moment, someone once reminded me that, just as Jacob, God's chosen leaders often walked with a limp. Most of us understand heartache, especially on the family level. God give you and your family great wisdom.

Don said...

Guy,

No idea what is happening with your family but we prayed that God would shower your family with wisdom and understanding as you are going through difficult times.

Don

GuyMuse said...

Darrell, Strider, David, Bryan, Kevin, and Don,

Thanks to each of you for your supportive words of wisdom, and especially for holding our family up in prayer these days. It is no insignificant thing to say that we are feeling in a real way the prayers of the saints on our behalf.

David, I downloaded this morning "Lead of Love" and will share it with my wife and son. It is indeed a meaningful song for us these days.

Kevin, walking with a limp is exactly the way we feel these days. Thanks for this reminder that many of God's saints walk with a limp.

Bryan, as I mentioned on your own blog, your recent post about some of the steps of faith the Lord is leading your through has strengthened our own faith. We rest in the knowledge of his goodness and his engineering things according to His best plans for our lives.

Strider, we can clearly see God at work in our lives these days through the trials we are going through with our son.

Darrell, the E. Elliot devotionals are all really good. You can subscribe to them daily by clicking on Elisabeth Elliot in my right side bar.

Don, wisdom is something we too are asking God for these days. Thanks for praying this for us!

jeff w. said...

Guy,

I enjoyed today's post - kind of where I am right now.

May God's grace be abundant and felt in your family's life.

Jeff

Alycelee said...

Guy, I couldnt respond to your wifes blog, but I wanted you to know that I did go there and read it.
Also, I have 4 grown children and both boys went through a period of rebellion that broke my heart.
Then Bob Mumford sent us a cd on 'the incorruptable seed'
I listened to it over and over and remembered that the seed had been planted in my sons some years before. The seed is incorruptable.
Next month, those two boys are going to Romania to build churches.
It's amazing the transformation in their lives and I give God all the glory.
The seed is incorruptable and God is faithful. We will continue to pray for you.
Alycelee

GuyMuse said...

Jeff,

One of the themes throughout EE's writings is the idea, "...everything that happens is being engineered..." It has been a stablizing factor in my walk with God to understand that there is nothing outside of His control and sovereignty. Even the "bad" that we don't understand is transformed by His love into something of beauty for his ultimate glory.

Alcye Lee,

What a good word that about 'incorruptible seed'. We too have planted this 'seed' in the lives of our children and trust that in due time it will bear forth the fruit that we have prayed for our children since they were first adopted by us many years ago. That being that they would always honor the Lord with their lives and follow Him wholeheartedly. Thanks for this good word about your own boys, and thanks for praying for us as we go through these difficult days.

jpu said...

hang in there my friend. God is good to you and yours.
jpu

Tim Patterson said...

Guy,

Praying for you, Linda and the kids. God has a way of turning these things for the good. Hold on tight to Him and your family during this time.

GuyMuse said...

JPU and Tim,

Thank you both for your prayers and words of encouragement. We are indeed feeling the prayers of the saints these days.