God has a plan for you – Do not be discouraged
– By John Bird
The theme for the Prayer Breakfast this year was “For I know the plans I have for you.” taken from the passages found in Jeremiah 29: 11-14.
I know that the times might be bad for you now in the oil patch, but if you are a believer in Jesus Christ and He is your Lord and Savior, He truly does have a plan to take care of you no matter what your circumstances are, nor how dark it may seem. He repeats this truth throughout the Bible:
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”
“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
As most of have seen in the past forty years and to say the least, the oil patch has been a capricious friend. In the 1980’s and early 90’s she turned her back on some half million of us, including me, but she came back gang busters again in the last few years and she will again.
When it happened to me I had years before turned my life over to Christ. So I knew everything would work out, but there was still that fear, that being home alone and no audible voice from God assuring me that He knew my plight was my problem. I would read the comforting scriptures but my mind would race about how I was going to make the house payment, fix the car and on and on.
It was July the 31, 1990. Jenifer had gotten marred, Julie had gone off to Texas A&M and Judy had found work in Humble at a hospital doing X-Rays, the job only requiring half of what she was trained in as a Medical and Radiological Technologist. She had given the profession up completely in the seventies to stay at home and raise our two girls. In spite of all the cars we drove forever and pinching pennies, God more than took care of us but that day I was home alone and I desperately needed His assurances.
I sat down at the dining room table and began to read the commentary that day in a little booklet that my mother in law had given me years before called Streams in the Desert.
Here is what it said:
“He guided them by the skillfulness of His hands.” Psalms 78:72 KJV
“”When you are doubtful as to your course, submit your judgment absolutely to the Spirit of God, and ask Him to shut against you every door but the right one…Meanwhile keep on as you are, and consider the absence of indication to be the indication of God’s will that you are on His track . . . As you go down the long corridor, you will find that He has preceded you and locked many doors which you would fain have entered; but be sure that beyond these there is one which He has left unlocked. Open it and enter, and you will find yourself face to face with a bend in the river of opportunity, broader and deeper than anything you had dared to imagine in your sunniest dreams. Launch forth upon it; it conduct s to the open sea.
God guides us, often by circumstances. At one moment the way may seem utterly blocked; and then shortly afterward some trivial incident occurs, which might not seem much to others, but which to the keen eye of faith speaks volumes. Sometimes these things are repeated in various ways, in answer to prayer. They are not haphazard results of chance, but the opening up of circumstances in the direction in which we would walk. And they begin to multiply as we advance toward our goal, just as the lights do as we near a populous town, when darting through the land by night express.”– F.B. Meyer
-His words touched me immediately because I had ridden on trains during the night when I was a kid and even once as a college student and I remembered the lights of the cities as we ‘darted’ through the night. And when he said, “… consider the absence of indication to be the indication of God’s will that you are on His track …” I understood and was comforted because there wasn’t any indication that I so badly longed for.
But then Horace Bushnell was quoted and I was comforted further: “If you go to Him to be guided, He will guide you; but He will not comfort your distrust or half-trust in Him by showing you the chart of all His purposes concerning you. He will show you only into a way where, if you go cheerfully and trustfully forward, He will show you on still farther.”
His words were comforting but he was also stepping on my little pity party that I was having at the same time. It was a reality check.
Finally the commentary ended with a poem that again was very personal in that my father was a Corps of Engineers river boat pilot on the Mississippi. I never remembered being afraid as I once stood beside him as he steered his large boat with such ease and confidence from Greenville to Vicksburg one day. Our Father in Heaven wants us to feel the same freedom from fear that I felt with my earthly father.
“As moves my fragile bark across the storm-swept sea,
Great waves beat o’er her side, as north wind blows;
Deep in the darkness hid lie threatening rocks and shoals;
But all of these, and more, my Pilot knows.
Sometimes when dark the night, and every light gone out,
I wonder to what port my frail ship goes;
Still though the night be long, and restless all my hours,
My distant goal, I’m sure, my Pilot knows.”
– Thomas Curtis Clark
This commentary was so powerful and meaningful to me that when I raised my tear stained face, I almost expected to see God all Mighty or an Angel standing near the table. I was literally that assured that He was going to take care of everything and you know, he did and he will for you as well.
Resting in Him,