I recently traveled to Israel with my husband, my parents, and my parents’ Sunday school group led by their pastor. It was an amazing, eye-opening trip that I could write a hundred blogs about (and may in the future…you’ve been warned!). We kept an amazingly fast pace seeing about five sites a day, starting in Rome for three days before flying to Israel.
Our first morning in Israel, the weather surprised us (and our local guide most of all) by unloading a bucket of marble-sized hail before transitioning to a watery downpour. We all scrambled to dig out our umbrellas and raincoats or buy ponchos from the gift shop. But we were in good spirits and continued our tour of Caesarea Maritime despite the rain, which lasted about an hour before giving way to sunshine for the rest of the day. It was so much fun – already an adventure!
“Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.” Isaiah 45:8
The next morning, we traveled to Capernaum – the site of Peter’s mother’s house where Jesus stayed and a synagogue that Jesus taught in. And lo and behold, despite our guide’s promise that it never rains in May in Israel, the sky let loose with a very wet, very prolonged thunderstorm as soon as we entered the ancient city. Out came the umbrellas and raincoats again!
This time was admittedly less fun for me. I struggled to protect my bulky camera from the elements and to hear the guide over the rain’s roar, discovered my raincoat wasn’t waterproof, and shivered as we trekked back and forth across the site in wet shoes and clothing that hampered my pregnant waddle-walk. I just wanted to leave and find shelter from the storm until it passed. By the time we returned to the bus, I was a downright grumpypuss and ready for a nap.
But you know what? God had a plan I didn’t know about. Shocking!
She was from New York and had grown tired of the seeming purposelessness of life. God had placed in her heart an intense, insatiable desire to know Him. Against the advice of friends and family, she hopped on a flight to Israel – the place she thought she would find Him – by herself. She went from place to place in the Holy Land learning about the God of the Bible. That day, God brought her to Capernaum and to our group. Through talking to the pastor, she came to understand the Good News of the Gospel and proclaimed her faith in Christ that day.
Kathryn’s eternal salvation was just a tad more important than my temporary discomfort, don’t you think?
I had been so focused on myself that I neglected to consider the bigger picture – that there even WAS a bigger picture. We can see that God is always at work if we look for it. AND if we’re willing, He will use us to accomplish His will.
God can “make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.” Hebrews 13:21
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
It blows my mind that Kathryn yearned to know God so much that she would travel by herself to a foreign country – a country that is known for its continual upheaval – to seek Him out. Psalm 63:1 says, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” Please pray with me that she finds a community of believers to join so she can continue to grow in her brand-new walk with Christ.
So, the next time you’re grumpy, try looking at the big picture of God’s plan. How can you make sure your attitude doesn’t get in the way of being used by the Lord this week?
Family Radio Staff