Thursday, January 13, 2022

Good Success

“Why has the Lord permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the Lord from Shiloh that it may go into battle among us and save us from the grasp of our enemies.” 1 Samuel 4:3

After a fierce battle, the Israelites were defeated by their foe, the Philistines. They could not imagine why God allowed this. They were feeling entitled I suppose, and arrogantly came up with their own plan for victory. They used the ark of the Lord of hosts, bringing it in the midst of the fray. What do you think happened? Did they win? Did God allow Himself to be used by a presumptuous people? 

“The Philistines fought and Israel was defeated; every man fled to his own tent. It was a disastrous defeat, in which Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, and Eli, the priest’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were among the dead.” 

In the narration of this event, it was apparent that no one prayed about the plan. The elders were probably frantic and decided on the spur of the moment thinking that God will just follow and give them good success. 

It must be noted that EVEN Jesus prayed about His plans. In yesterday’s gospel reading, Mark 1:29-39, we see Jesus healing the mother of Peter, then healing many more. Early the next morning He went to a deserted place and prayed. The apostles searched and found Him there and said, “Everyone is looking for you.” Then Jesus told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” He did not go with the apostles where people were waiting for Him. 

Jesus got His marching orders from His Father. We should too. We should not presume that we know best. There are so many variables that can happen. The future is a closed door, and only God knows what is behind it. I remember many years ago, I was praying about the plans for our business, the business my mom started 55 years ago. I was wondering about how it could continue after listening to some experts and reading books. I learned that poor transitions and a lack of succession planning are the single biggest factors in the failure of family businesses so I was asking God what we should do. I distinctly remember Him telling me, “Do not worry. I have a plan.” After that, I relaxed. I did not know that several years after, there would be a pandemic and my niece and her plans for online platforms would be key to our business survival. Truly, if we put our dreams, plans, and vision in God’s hands, He is ready and willing to take care of us. 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

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:^) Patsy