When it Rains, it Pours {And Ruined Plans}

Great intentions — washed away in the flood. Does that ever happen to you? I had great blogging plans in mind for the summer. The only problem is, they never went beyond my mind. Never even made it to the key board, let alone the blog!

As many of you know, we have a summer home, and usually spend part of the summer there. So I hoped to have plenty of posts planned for July. Which has not worked out. But it’s OK. And sometimes, I just have to remind myself of those words: “IT’S OK.”

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps, (Proverbs 16:9).

Because yes, we plan, we hope. And it’s good we do so. We are made in God’s image, made to think and create. But when all our best-laid plans don’t work out, isn’t it great to remember that the Lord is still in control? He waylays our programs, saying “Hold on there. This is the way.”

And then, regardless of what’s going on, or what kind of struggles we’re going through, he brings peace and rest.

Going to the summer home is a struggle for me this year. Sort of like it was the first time we went back, after many years. Because it’s one of those periods in life when all we can do is say, “Wow, when it rains, it pours.”

If you’ve read our latest newsletter, you know our daughter and her family are moving back to the states in November. And you may have seen from God Hates Ping-Pong, that my mom was in the hospital and has now moved to a rehab center.

On top of all that, we do a lot of counseling with people, and sometimes people with really serious problems. We also reach out to the refugees in our area. And they’re all reminders that Life on Earth is tough. Filled with troubles and battles.

And the Summer Village is a place where we really need to go filled up.

We have nicknamed it Beyond Forgotten, after all. A place of need and desperation. A place that needs hope, peace, and love — in all areas of life. And I guess I’m wondering, “How much do I have left to give? What can I offer when I feel so drained?”

So this morning, as I was thinking about my problem of so few blog posts ready for July, two thoughts came to mind. Number one: If that’s a problem, I’m in pretty good shape, compared to the world around me. And number two: that verse in Proverbs.

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps, (Proverbs 16:9).

Then, as the Lord does when we turn to his Word, I started seeing that he was giving me that verse for the summer village too. A big part of me doesn’t want to go this year. Though I am at peace (and I truly am), I’m realizing that I do feel drained. And I guess that’s because battles do take their toll — even when we don’t realize it. A thought that brings even more peace.

We often don’t feel the drain during the battle. And that’s because the Lord is fighting with us.

Only afterward do we feel it, and realize how great it was. I realize the “battles” I’m speaking of seem small in light of world problems. And compared to the desperate situations many are in. But they were, nonetheless, heart draining.

So the Lord is showing me that though I think I need to go filled-up and ready to give, perhaps he wants to fill me. And my prayer has become, “Lord, may this be a time apart, for drawing close to you, and for hearing your heart.”

We will, for the most part, have no internet. Just the limited amounts on our cell phones. Unless we use the Wi-Fi in the pizzeria. And there’s nothing else to do in the village. So what a great opportunity for renewal!

And then I realized WHY I have nothing to give, to offer in that hopeless place.

The Lord showed me that it was never me giving and helping anyway. It all came from him. It always comes from him. And in looking back, I saw that it’s usually at my weakest times that the Lord seems to work through me. Perhaps because in our weakness we seek him more. Or perhaps because at our weakest, our pride and Self doesn’t get in the way so much.

So all we’ve got to do is get out of the way and let God work.

And those hidden blessings of whatever deluge we’re in will drip off our umbrella, and on to the lost and hurting all around us. It all comes from him, and only flows through us.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me, (2 Corinthians 12:9).

[Image: rainy Calabrian beach ©TheScorziellos-Sheila]

2 thoughts on “When it Rains, it Pours {And Ruined Plans}

  1. How awesome that we can both enjoy AND be conduits of God’s grace! If only we would rest in that. There’s nothing to pour out unless we first draw from Him. Thanks for the reminder, Sheila!

    Like

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