God is in Control 上帝仍然掌權
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
～Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)～
Life is full of unexpected interruptions. We all had plans for 2020 – vacations, family, career, and ministry – God has taken us in a different direction.
In my family, we hit several milestones: my mom turned 90 and my wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful anniversary trip planned and a big celebration for mom, both cancelled. When our plans and God’s plans don’t match up, we get frustrated and angry.
Jonah learned the hard way when God’s plans and his plans didn’t match. God told Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh that they needed to repent from their evil ways. But Jonah ran from God and ended up in the belly of a big fish, so God had to rescue him. Jonah then did what God had said to do, but when the people of Nineveh repented and God didn’t punish them, Jonah became greatly displeased and angry.
How did God respond to Jonah’s anger? He caused a vine to grow large enough to ease Jonah’s discomfort in the blazing heat of the day. Then God sent a worm to attack the plant and kill it. The next day, as the scorching east wind and the sun blazed down on Jonah’s head, he expressed his anger and frustration to God.
And that’s when God reminded Jonah of four truths to remember when God’s plans differ from ours.
1. God can see things you can’t.
2. God is good to you even when you’re angry at Him. He loves you even when you’re unlovable.
3. God is in control of every detail of your life. Your plans don’t fail randomly. God has a purpose in everything in your life.
4. God wants you to focus on what will last. Most of what worries you won’t be around tomorrow. God wanted Jonah to care about the salvation of the people of Nineveh, not a plant that would die the next day. Above all else, focus on getting God’s Word into the heart of the lost.
Just because your plans aren’t turning out the way you want doesn’t mean God isn’t intimately involved in every step. God is in control even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ask God to help you see His hand in your broken plans, and trust Him in His goodness as He shows you the way forward.
～ Rev. Jireh Lin 林以勒牧師～