God’s Plans; July 3, 2018


John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Mary is a good example to us in a number of ways, and here she gives some of the best advice ever: “do whatever Jesus says.” I don’t think she really knew what Jesus would do, but she trusted Him explicitly, even though she had given Him birth. Jesus’ directions in this case didn’t make any sense at first to those who followed them; it was only after they had obeyed that they reaped the benefit. That is very often true for us as well, and it’s really what faith is all about. There’s an old Southern Gospel song that says exactly this: We Will Understand It Better Bye and Bye. That moment of understanding may not come until we are free from these bodies, but the point is obedience. Often we can look back over our lives and understand some of what God was doing in various events, but sometimes it is a mystery even so. The reason for that is that there are so many factors and so many people involved. What God tells us to do may have much more to do with someone else than it does with us. God loves all His children, and we are to rejoice in that reality.

I had the incredible blessing of being raised by parents who believed this completely. If they had times of doubt, I wasn’t aware of it. When my father was in the hospital for the coronary bypass surgery from which he didn’t wake up, he wrote two letters to us his family, as an informal will. (He had a formal, legal will as well, but this was more personal.) One of those letters was on strictly practical matters, saying that cremation had its advantages, and that there was no cemetery where he would feel more at home (if he were feeling) [sic] than the one at Seinan Jo Gakuin in Kokura, just below the chapel where he and my mother were married. That was both helpful and very moving, but the other letter expressed his prayers for each of us. The thing that stands out in my memory (I don’t have the originals at hand) was his desire that each of us would know and do God’s will for us, which would “fit in perfectly with His will for everyone else.” My father was very aware of our interconnectedness, that none of us are in genuine isolation. What God tells me to do may ultimately be for the benefit of someone I will never meet this side of heaven. I think that will be one of the blessings of heaven; getting to discover all these connections and express gratitude to one another and praise to God for His perfect plan. For right now, I need to follow Mary’s advice: do whatever Jesus says.

Father, thank You that You indeed know everything and keep it all straight. I enjoy science fiction, but nothing can touch Your reality! Help me hear and obey You more and more accurately and faithfully in everything, so that Your plans, not just for me but for this world, may be fulfilled, just as You had Jesus teach us to pray. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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