Monday went pretty much as I had hoped it would. I had great face-face conversations with two individuals who are joining the STL Mission Team and spent most of the rest of the day working with the STL staff as we jump into 2020. With many other personal connections thrown in, I got home a little after 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday was equally productive. It included four appointments with talks that covered the gauntlet of life: baptism, death and grief, and multiple other concerns and joys in between. Again, with several other conversations thrown in, the day felt fruitful.
And then came Wednesday! It started off great, but around 10:00 a.m. it seemed to make a U-turn. Four of the five appointments I had planned for the day were either no-shows or cancelled! They were all on the road, so I had to fill in most of the vacated time with ‘in car’ activities – before getting home and settling down with my electronics in our basement. While I was able to reach a few people on my phone, the day left me feeling frustrated and unproductive.
And then I got to wondering – in which day or days was God more at work?
It is easy for me to see God at work when my day goes as planned – when people, work and conversations are right in front of me. But, what about those other times – those Wednesdays when my plans fall apart, or my goals are delayed? Is God taking a Sabbath rest when I can’t see what he’s doing?
When I pose the question to myself this way, I realize how ridiculous my thoughts are! While the prophet Jeremiah couldn’t see much being accomplished, Yahweh assured him, “I know the plans I have for you – plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiahs 29.11). As I read these words, I realize the focus is upon God’s plans, not those of Jeremiah. And, as I am reminded that “all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8.28), my eyes trip over those first two words “ALL things”.
It is not always God’s plan to have me see what he is doing, but he is always doing … he is at work (with his grace, mercy and love … in power, wisdom and planning) at all times. It may well be that he accomplished more in and through me on Wednesday than on Monday and Tuesday combined! Who am I to demand that I see and feel his work? Seeing may help believing, but “faith comes through hearing” (Romans 10.17) and “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20.28)
I have around ten more appointments scheduled for the rest of this week. I have it all planned out – I know what I hope will be accomplished. And, as important as all of this is, God may well have a completely different plan (What would my week have been like if I were a missionary in Puerto Rico?). The one thing I know for sure … and this holds true for you as well as for me … is that God will be at work (with his grace, mercy and love … in power, wisdom and planning) whether we see it or not.