by James Collins
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” Proverbs 19:21
Several years ago, a severe rainstorm turned a peaceful town into a flooded disaster area. The local newspaper editor set out in a rowboat to cover the story in detail. As she paddled down a stream that had been one of the town’s residential streets, she noticed a woman sitting on the roof of a house.
The newspaper editor paddled to the edge of the roof, tied up her boat, climbed out, and sat down next to the woman. She thought that a woman sitting alone on her roof would make a great story. So, she took out a pen and paper. Before she could ask the woman a question, she saw a hat floating downstream with the current. When the hat reached the far side of the house, it made a complete u-turn and floated upstream to the other end of the house. Then the hat made another u-turn and floated downstream again until it reached the far side of the house where it turned again and floated upstream to the other end of the house. The hat did this time after time.
The reporter was bewildered. She turned to the woman and asked, “Do you have any idea what that hat is doing out there in front of your house?” She said, “Yes. That hat is on my husband’s head. He said that ‘come hell or high water’ he was going to mow the lawn today.”
The point is: Sometimes we stubbornly cling to our plans instead of letting go and letting God have control. We often ignore things that are important and continue to focus on the trivial. The flood rises to the rooftop, but we go on mowing the lawn.
You probably started 2020 with big plans. You had dreams of a year that had nothing to do with a global pandemic. Then March came and you had to change your plans.
Personally, I am very discouraged as we pass the year’s halfway mark. It seems nothing has gone right. Government bureaucrats, who can’t even fix the streets and sidewalks, have suddenly become health experts. They tell us it is healthy to gather in mass to protest, but it is unhealthy to gather in mass for church. They tell us that it is a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, but I have no choice but to wear a mask. They let prisoners out of jail for fear of them catching COVID-19, but threaten to put Christians in jail if they sing in church. What is right is wrong and what is wrong is right. Nothing makes sense. It seems as if the world is spinning out of control.
But God is in control. The Bible says that there are many devices (or plans) in a man’s heart, but God’s purposes prevail (Proverbs 19:21). What are God’s purposes in this global havoc? Perhaps God wants us to forget about ourselves and focus on things that truly matter.
How long has it been since you… Took the time to go see someone who lives alone? Wrote an email to someone who crossed your mind? Spent more time in God’s book than on Facebook? Shared your faith? Offered forgiveness? Told someone that you loved them?
I suppose that I could stubbornly continue to be discouraged about the world situation. But instead, I think, I am going to let go and let God. Even in all this madness, I am going to look for ways to serve Him.
Come hell or high water.
James Collins is a pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net.