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Saturday, January 2, 2010



Here we are in the first day of a new year and I'm not quite through with
the old one. I tend to hold on to some things, like memories of the past
week. Like many of you my wife and I planned a trip to be with our family
and friends who live about 2,100 miles away. We left on schedule and after 2
days, had traveled less than half of the way home. We were confronted with
snow, Ice, freezing rain and eventually a blizzard, before we decided to
turn around and drive back to California. We made the trip with clear sky
and dry roads almost all of the way, in one day.

As I have thought about what happened to us, I have wondered if God might
have had a hand in our travel difficulties. Now I know how impossible it
sounds to think that God might put a blizzard in place just for our benefit,
but could he?

Then I remembered Paul in Act's 16:6-7 where we read, "Next Paul and Silas
traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit
had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that
Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of
Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there."

I also thought of Jonah in the Jonah 1:4 where Jonah was headed in a
direction God didn't want him to go. We read: "Then the LORD sent a great
wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to
break up." (NIV)

So, could God put a storm in our path to prevent us from going somewhere? I
believe that he could. You might ask, "Would God cause something like that
to happen when it might affect someone other than just me?" Think about
this, "Was Jonah in the boat alone?" No, he wasn't. So, could God affect our
physical lives in some way to cause us to do what he wants us to do? Yes, I
believe he can. If you don't think so, why do you bother to pray for the
sick, or those out of a job or for safe passage on some trip? Do we believe
he will only touch our world when we specifically ask him to?

OK, here is the point! Much of our world looks to the New Year and makes
plans for their future. We make "New Year's Resolutions," planning what
changes or direction our lives will take. The trouble is that it may not be
the things God has in mind for us. We forget that he is still in control of
our world, not us, not the scientist, not the politicians; it is God who is
in charge.

We were disappointed that we didn't get to make our planned trip to Ohio,
but one passage of scripture keeps floating to the front of my mind. Do you
remember what James writes in James 4:13-16? James writes: "Today or
tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will
do business there and make a profit." How do you know what your life will be
like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog, it's here a little while,
then it's gone. What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will
live and do this or that." Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans,
and all such boasting is evil."

As you look to the New Year, don't forget to plan on God being involved with
your life! If things don't go as you plan, maybe their going according to
some plan that God has for your life.

Wishing you the best of the New Year,

Russ Lawson

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