8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
Paul’s Change of Plans
12 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 13 For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand— 14 just as you did partially understand us—that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.
15 Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. 16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. 17 Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? 18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. 20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (2 Co 1:8–22). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Plans
The Easter Holiday is drawing near and many families will be traveling and celebrating together. In many other countries, particularly those with more Spanish influence, this is an even bigger holiday. There will be parade equivalents to our Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and family gatherings as big as our Christmas traditions. They don't do the Easter Bunny. The celebrate the Ressurection of Christ from the dead.
We may celebrate Easter differently here, but we are not strangers to the need to make plans and the frustrations that occur when those plans do not work out. Paul wrote to the Corinthians to explain to them that his plan, his desire, his intention was to come visit them... But God had other plans. He had to submit to God rather than try to fix the problem himself. Even though Paul did not understand why at the time, God was keeping him away from those beloved church family members for his own good as well as theirs. God knows better than us.
Do you experience that frustration of turning over your best intentions to God, even after you have worked hard to develop a plan to help everyone? Every time my wife and I get in the car to go some-where, we are reminded that life is always an adventure and it never goes according to plan. It doesn't mean we stop trying or stop organizing altogether. It simply means we remain flexible and seek God's will more - and keep a sense of humor about ourselves as well. If we are willing to follow God, He will get us where we need to be.
Reflection: What areas of your life do you need to get more organized and need to seek God for help in? Which parts of your life do you need to let go of the control over and allow God to move through?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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