Have you ever noticed that there are some verses you just pass over thinking they do not have as much relevance, or meat as other verses?
For me, it was two verses found in Philippians, chapter 2, verse 19 Paul says, “I hope in the Lord Jesus…” and in verse 24,“ I trust in the Lord….” Before March 2020, I would have just glanced over thinking they really did not apply to me, as it Paul noting his submission to the Lord for his travel plans. While it has been easy to gloss over these two references in the past, considering the COVID-19 situation, it certainly puts it all back into perspective.
This past month, my family and I had to cancel our flights to LA. We were supposed to attend my husband’s seminary graduation. He has worked three long years and as a family we made many sacrifices to get to this point, so we were going to celebrate this victory and watch him, and a lot of his mates cross the floor. However, the corona virus has not only cancelled the graduation but stopped nonessential travel between the USA and Canada (along with many other nations).
Make plans but they aren’t up to you
When we said goodbye to friends and our church in LA in December, we preferred to call it ‘see you soon’ because we fully expected to be back to visit in May. When we booked our flights for this trip in February, we completely anticipated attending the graduation celebration. We were counting down the days till we got to see some of our dearest friends. We were busy booking accommodation, planning what fun things to do in Los Angeles and getting ready to celebrate this milestone.
Now, what I just naturally assumed would happen, has become part of the uncertainty with this virus. My own plans and expectations are part of a long list of other plans people have made that are being or will be cancelled/postponed e.g. elective surgery, weddings, travel plans, financial goals, retirement timelines.
Yet, while there seems to be many disruptions caused by COVID-19, none of this is new to God and it certainly does not disrupt His plans. He has chosen these events to be for our good and His glory and we should respond with adoration, worship, love and submission. In James, we are told that all good gifts are from God. That he only gives good gifts to those He loves.
Though this may not seem like a good thing, God is working on us through the disruptions of our schedules and normalcy of our lives. He is sanctifying us and at the end if we let Him, we will be more Christ like.
If the Lord wills
We serve a great and loving God, and this event has reminded me that all things are in accordance with His will, so that all of our plans and dreams are “Lord willing.”
We need to look at Proverbs Chapter 16, verses 9 where we are told that “a man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” We have no control of what will happen in 1 minute from now, never mind tomorrow. The Lord tells us to plan but He is ultimately in control and will direct us.
Such a comforting truth as God’s sovereignty may not be new, but challenges us to apply what we know in our head to our everyday life and situation. Because of this, it is important we don’t try and fight God’s will, but embrace our new reality with a commitment to serve God no matter what we face. For this application of truth strengthens our faith and trust in the Lord and causes us to become more like our Savior!
Genevieve Wilson is Canadian. a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.