Posts Tagged ‘If the Lord wills’



March 11, 2014

“And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped.  At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they camped.”  Numbers 9:17-18

tabernacle-in-wildernessThe fire was kindled and just coming to wake, along with the rest of the inhabitants of the small tent.  The small family struggled to push away the warm embrace of sleep, lingering as long as possible under covers, allowing the fire’s heat to push away the sting of the morning breeze.  Words were mumbled between family members as the rustling of bedding intensified.  As the family comes back to life, the normal discussion of the coming day commences.

The children ask the same barrage of questions, “Father, are we traveling today?”,  “Can have something other than manna for dinner?” “How far are we going to travel today?”, “What will our next camp be like?”, “I don’t want to go to a new camp; I like this one.”

“I don’t know,” was the unsatisfying response of the half-asleep father.

“But Mother, we have not traveled in four days.  I think we are going to travel again today,” the youngest child surmises.

“Yes, you might be right, but I don’t know,” the mother says with a smile.

“But Father, how long can we stay here?  Don’t we have to start moving again?” the logical eldest child contributed.

“We will stay as long as we need to,” the father said in hopes of ending the discussion.

However, the immediate response from the eldest was “how long do we need to stay?”

“I don’t know,” was the frustrated father’s all too familiar response.

“Can I play with my friends today, Mother?  There is that large rock at the edge of the camp that we want to climb.  Can we climb it today?” the middle child pushed.

“If we don’t travel today, then you can play with your friends…after your chores,” the mother quickly added.

“Are we traveling today?” the child could not help but ask.

“I don’t’ know,” was mumbled through a bit of breakfast when the father noticed a hint of dawn in the distances.  Before his children could ask another question about the day’s plans, he sent them out of the tent with the admonition “go see if the cloud has lifted from the tabernacle.”

Printable 2014 calendar

I think this would be my family if we had been Israelites in the wilderness.  We don’t handle uncertainty well.  The days of our calendar are filled months in advance.  We have vacations, events, and commitments all occupying their designated places.  My kids start out every morning with the same question, “what are we doing today?”  There usually is an answer for us.  We don’t have a cloud over a tabernacle to consult.

When asked about our participation, our response typically involves the consultation of the sacred scroll – our calendar.

I know  there is a balance between planning and spontaneity.  However, my personal tendency is to lean toward the planning.  I like to have a plan.  I don’t like the response of “I don’t know.”  I especially don’t like to re-schedule and modify long-established plans and goals.

However, we all live in the “I don’t know” world more that we might want to acknowledge.  God is Lord of our calendars and He can change them in an instance.  The events on our calendar are all tentative no matter how hard we try to etch them in ink.  The Lord can lift His Spirit in our life at any given moment and send us in a new direction or He can keep us in the same spot even though we desperately want to move on.

All of our plans are subject to the Lord’s will – whether we acknowledge it or not.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-14)

I believe that the balance between planning and spontaneity come by acknowledging that the Lord’s will governs over all.  We must make plans; it is a fundamental part of life.  However, all of our plans are written upon our calendars in the tentative of “if the Lord wills.”  Anything can be changed; we must be willing to yield to the Lord’s will in our lives – in the spontaneous or the long established; to not yield is evil boasting (James 4:16).  It is arrogance to live as if we have the ability to set our schedules in ink.

The Lord is lord of all – even our calendars.  Therefore, every follower of Christ’s calendar should have the yielding heading – “If the Lord wills”.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for being in control of my schedule. I need you to guide me in all ways – especially in my commitments, goals and plans.  You know that I live arrogantly in my tendency to embrace my self-imposed plans.  Lord, change my mindset.  Teach me to check your will in all things.  Take my calendar; enable me to yield my schedule to the changes that you have prescribed.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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