Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bible Study: Placing our futures in God's hands

Romans 15:28-29
Joshua 2:1-7
Pickersgill Rahab.JPG
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Paul didn't plan, when he was writing his letter to the Romans, to arrive a few years later in chains. What he did plan, though, was to keep his future in God's hands and to arrive in God's timing with Christ's blessing.
My life today doesn't look much like what I had hoped it would back when I was an ignorant teenage girl. I overhear my daughters scheme about their futures and I laugh at their plans, knowing that most of them will never take place and that they will be the happier for it. Their plans include wealthy husbands, farmer husbands, world travels, wildly successful careers, business opportunities, charitable works, children of their own, and many luxuries they read about in fairy tales. They would be excellent authors for the plots they come up with to pretend they are wealthy widows or destitute widows, successful entrepreneurs, famous artists, or nuns whose holiness rivals that of Mother Teresa. They are too young to move in a definite direction and too inexperienced to realize how impractical their role-playing is. I let them dream, knowing that one or more of their dreams may actually come true, and that if they don't then the action of acting out their fairy tales may lead to another type of opportunity, be it in authoring books or in more easily accepting the failure the precedes success.
God knows that sometimes what we think we want is not what will truly bring us the most joy. Because of his years in chains, Paul has been a comfort to Christian prisoners throughout the centuries. Would he have chosen the life given to him if offered the opportunity? Perhaps he would have preferred to avoid the beatings and shipwrecks and confinement in prison. Yet perhaps he rejoiced in the suffering, agreeing with his fellow apostle (James 1:2) that it would bring him greater treasures in heaven.
I'm certain Rahab never expected to become the great-great-(...)grandmother of the Israelite Messiah. She was a prostitute among the Israelites' enemies. Yet she placed her future in God's hands and received blessings for it which extended far beyond her own lifespan.

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