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When Life Get’s in the Way of Your Plans

The older you become, the more likely it is that one phone call will radically change your life.  Bad news has a way of stealing joy as well as altering any plans that you have previous made.  Just before Christmas, my wife’s mom was rushed to the hospital.  In the week’s that have followed, there have been ups and downs, resulting in a series of trips to Chicago to see her mother.  In the end, everyone will pass, but preparing for the inevitable is like riding a roller coaster in the dark.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps, Proverbs 16:9.

In moments like these, the wisdom of Solomon shines light on what’s truly important.  Sure, developing goals are helpful to create a five or ten year plan for prosperity.  Yet, beyond a man’s or woman’s heart, the Lord will throw an occasional curve ball to keep you off balance.  Subsequently, if your steps aren’t in alignment with God’s calling, a detour will likely be coming, drawing you back to where you need to be.  Whether that’s taking care of an ailing parent or pursuing a promotion to keep get your children through college, only time will time.  Yet, for now life is like a wheel of fortune, around and around it goes, where it stops nobody but God knows.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them, Ephesians 2:10.

So what do you do when life get’s in the way of your plans?  First, praying can serve as a vehicle for healing as well as a source of comfort.  Second, seek counsel from those who have already gone through a similar situation.  This provides prospective as well as the ability to avoid making the same mistakes as your predecessor.  Finally, cling to the promises of the Bible, memorizing these passages to instill in you hope that God is not finished using and working through you.  May the Holy Spirit guide your steps the next time life get’s in the way of your plans.

by Jay Mankus



Give Me A Clue Lord

Sometimes I feel as if life is an endless game show filled with segments of CharadesHangman and Wheel of Fortune.  Like a Nickelodeon late night rerun, I have moments where I feel as if I am acting out life just as God intended.  Unfortunately, there are other choices, decisions and errors I make which put me one step closer to game over.  Or there are days like today in which I am compelled to buy a vowel so I can begin to solve the puzzle staring at me.  In other words, give me a clue Lord.

The prophet Elijah had similar feelings in 1 Kings 19:10.  After receiving a death threat from Queen Jezebel, Elijah literally runs for his life without crying out to the Lord in prayer.  While on the run, Elijah begins to feel all alone, as if there is no one else on earth who understands what he is going through.  In this desperate state, the Lord gives Elijah a series of clues to bring him back on track, 1 Kings 19:11-13.

Besides fasting, prayer and reading the Bible, there is one clue most believers fail to notice or recognize, the whisper of God.  No, I am not talking about The Sixth Sense scene when Cole says, “I see dead people!”  Rather, I am referring to God’s still small voice, similar to a sheep being able to recognize their shepherd’s voice, John 10:4-5.  If you are paying attention to your surroundings, alert and sober, you will be more likely to discern what God wants you to do, respond or say, leading to more clues.

Like the search in the first National Treasure film, your quest for life’s answers can lead you on a wild goose chase.  In fact, those around you may even try to convince you to quit, giving up before you obtain your dream.  Nonetheless, this is when you have to dig down deep, cling to what you know is right and follow the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.  There will be distractions along the way, Matthew 7:13-14, but if you fully obey God’s commands, these clues will lead you to a promised land, Deuteronomy 28:1-2.

by Jay Mankus

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