Day 3: God's Plan
I waited the entire day of my sixteenth birthday to receive from my parents, my first car. It had been in the backyard the whole day. You see, we had quite a bit of land where I grew up in Missouri. In one certain area of the backyard, I had inadvertently left some weeds unattended for the entire Summer. The weeds had grown to around 6 feet tall and about 14 feet wide. This was one area of the backyard no one got near…especially with a mower. My dad walked me to the backyard and explained to me that the car was in the middle of the weeds. He then laughed and said, “Good luck finding it.” I tore into the weeds feeling my way for something metal and cool. About 2 feet into the weeds I hit pay dirt. There was a large vehicle in there. I continued to feel around looking for a door handle. Frantically I searched, and there it was. I threw open the door and got into the front seat. Visions of Mustangs and Firebirds danced in my mind as I put the key into the ignition and turned the car on.
Have you ever seen the movie Uncle Buck? John Candy played Uncle Buck and the car he drove was a mess. I mean a total wreck. Whenever he would start his car up or turn the car off the car would backfire and smoke would come out of the tailpipes. When I turned my brand new car on I heard and felt the loudest bang I had ever witnessed. I put the car into reverse and backed it out of the weeds. I placed the car back in park. Smoke was surrounding the car and filling the entire backyard. I looked at my car for the very first time. There before me was a 1974 Ford LTD Station Wagon with wood panels on the side. I walked around my new car (I think it took me 3 days to walk entirely around this car that was larger than a boat) and told my parents, “Thank you”. I got back in and turned the car off...it let off another sonic boom and there I was in the car that I had dreamed of…the car I had hoped for….the car…a 1974 Ford LTD Station Wagon with wood panels on the side.
Have you ever hoped and even prayed for something, and it just didn’t come out like you thought it would? You have your hopes on a great birthday party and everything falls apart. Or you study really hard for a test, and you don’t do as well as you thought you would. Have you ever been disappointed even though you know you shouldn’t be? Have you ever felt like God has let you down or not come through like you wanted Him to? That’s the way I felt on that day. God and my parents had played a terrible joke on me, and all my dreams were shattered.
Sometimes the best things God and our parents give us are not at all what we ask for. I remember in High School I had my eye on one special girl. We started going out and things were great. I had it in my heart to marry her. I even prayed to God begging Him for this girl to be the one for me. God said, “NO, I have someone better picked out for you.” I just couldn’t see that, and I got angry at God. You know what, God knows best. Ten years later I got married to the most incredible woman I have ever met. My plans might have been in my mind good plans, but they weren’t God’s plans. The older I have gotten the more I have found this to be true. God’s plans are the best…my plans are second best. I don’t know about you but if I have a choice between getting the best or second-best….I’ll take the best any day.
“But Todd, that car was in no way the best.” That’s right. It was not the fastest, best-looking car in the world or the small town of Raytown, Missouri, but it was the right car for me at the right time. The extra protection that that car provided was just what I needed in the small fender benders I had. Not only that but since the car was slow and I mean slow…I couldn’t go show off to my friends. That was something I was prone to do from time to time. (Unbelievable, huh?) You see your parents know what is best for you too. I know you don’t want to admit it…but it’s true. The next time you get down and disappointed because things didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to remember there is God’s plan and your plan. God knows all…you don’t. Wait on God’s plan.
We all need to be careful not to place our plans above the Lord’s. Look up Psalms 16:7-8. What does the Lord do for us?
God wants to help you fulfill His plans for you. How does He do that according to Philippians 2:13-16?
Parents are a gift from God. (Whether you believe it or not.) Your parents are not there for you by accident. How should you treat your parents according to Ephesians 6:1-3?
Thank God today for your parents and thank Him for His plans for your life. Remember God’s plan is the best. He knows all. You don’t!
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." James 1:2-3
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