When Murphy's law runs amuck

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2002

Sunday morning started so well. Friend wife and I were up on time. After bathing or showering, and the rest of our ablutions, we had a bit of breakfast, grabbed our Bibles and got off to church ... with time to spare.

Then, the baptistery wasn't filled and I had forgotten to bring along my baptizing clothes.

Now I had to start the water for baptizing, fret about not having time to get my clothes from home, try to remember all that I was to do in both services, as well as the Sunday School hour (Operation Barnabas report where I interview the three OB kids) and be sharp for the two messages I had to preach.

Did I mention that Pastor Dan was away?

Oh well, it was one of those days.

I'm so happy that I learned the previous night that someone else would lead the musical portion of the worship services.

At the 8:30 a.m. service, I misplaced my Bible -- with the bulletin (announcements were my job Sunday). I grabbed a bulletin. Oops, it was last week's!

I lost my place in the order of service and watched from the platform as Scott worked feverishly to hook up two garden hoses (Is the Greek work for two hoses "hosi"?) to help supply enough water for the baptismal service.

Someone (Carmen) located the Bible. What a relief.

There were only 15 minutes for the message since Tim was sharing about God's call to serve in Bangkok, Thailand, with Young Life, reaching international high school students for Christ.

Well, you get the idea.

That was one of my days. What about yours?

Moms with kids, teens and their hectic schedules, men and women in the workplace ... we all face the fact that some days everything seems to go wrong. How frustrating can it get?

"You wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."

Isn't it great to have a God who knows all about these things and loves us anyway? In fact, he seems to take great delight in allowing us -- frustrations and all -- to experience his peace in the middle of the storms of life.

He has put his message in "common peanut butter jars" (Howard Hendricks) so the glory will be his, not ours.

By the way, the interview went well. The water was ... well, adequately warm and the baptistery was full (that was one time when I felt the scripture: "be ye warmed and filled" was truly appropriate).

Our new sound man did well and there was a good spirit among the people.

An added blessing for me came in an e-mail note concerning the message ... "and the sun came up on Monday morning."

Isn't God good?

Keep on, my friend. God remembers not only who you are, but also the precise situation you find yourself in.

Even the times when everything seems to go wrong are times when he looks first at your heart to see your motive and purpose.

If that is good, the things that become frustrating, despite our best efforts, still work out for his greater honor.

His promise is: "My grace is sufficient for you, and my strength is made perfect in weakness."

Charles G. Thornton is associate pastor of Peninsula Grace Brethren Church, 44175 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Soldotna. Sunday worship is 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Bible classes are at 9:45 a.m.

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