Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lucy, Part 1: Unexpected Joy

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven" -Eccl. 3:1 On December 26th we welcomed Lucy Katherine, our second granddaughter, into the world and she is absolutely beautiful. Elizabeth is well, Mark is a proud daddy and Reese is a great big sister. But the original due date was January 16th. Lucy Kate came a little earlier than we had all planned. It wasn't what we expected. It's important for us to learn to be flexible with God's timing. Passing that flexibility on to our kids teaches them to wait on God's bigger plan and to experience the joy that comes on the other side. "Change is fun!" Those aren't words spoken from the lips of most people. Blame it on birth order, moving a lot or having fluoride in our drinking water, but most of us don't like change. We conclude that if things stay the same, we don't have to deal with rearranging our schedules and our lives. We avoid the difficulties. But we also miss the blessings. With our loving God at the helm, change is always, ultimately always, a good thing. Change keeps our dependency on God. We'd planned on spending half of the Christmas break in Fort Worth with my family and the other half of the break in Baton Rouge with Jeanie's family. We love our families. There's nowhere else we'd rather be than with them. But we found out right before Christmas that Lucy would be coming early. So, we went north to Des Moines instead of south to Baton Rouge. Of course, everyone in Baton Rouge understood, but our plans were changed. Our organized, Ical programmed, laid out and systematic plans yielded to God's better plan. If we depend on Him, there's peace in knowing He knows what's best. Change is usually uncomfortable. When we left Fort Worth the day after Christmas, to drive to Des Moines, a major winter storm had just hit north Texas. It took us over 14 hours to make the trek through the Midwest. We sat, stopped, for an hour on the Interstate through Denton. The drive was long and when we arrived at the hospital in Des Moines, it was nearly midnight. But we made it and saw our beautiful Lucy. Journeys of change are usually that way: unexpected, difficult, and unprepared. But the reward for persevering through the struggle is worth it- especially if it's a beautiful granddaughter. Change brings joy. James 1:2 says to "Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." Most trials are simply changes to our plans. The "testing of our faith" is truly uncomfortable, but joy comes with knowing there's something better on the other side. We can experience joy if we trust that God's plan is much better than our plan. We can even say "thank you" for the trial when we yield to God's wisdom. We all like to stick to our plans, but when God overrules and circumstances change, we need to yield ourselves to God's bigger will. Our plans changed over Christmas and we welcomed our beautiful granddaughter Lucy. Plans come in all shapes and sizes. In whatever way God interrupts our schedules, may we yield to His will. And experience joy in the trial. Whether her name is Lucy or not… By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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