What Happened???

 Raising 4 kids, Frank and I have asked that question more times than I can count... On one particular occasion the scene was a bit different - it was late on a breezy fall evening as we  rounded the corner toward our house.  Every light was on, every door was open, it was clear something was wrong.  You see we had left the house just before dinnertime as the electricity had gone off - there was a strong, quick storm that had blown over shutting down our power.  Our thoughtful neighbor, knowing we had dinner plans and knowing our kids' fear of storms, invited all four of our children to their house for a "camp-out" while we attended our dinner.

As we neared our house we could see that smoke seemed to be billowing out every opening.  What happened???  Another neighbor coming home from work had noticed the smoke, and with the right tools was able to "break into" our house to assess the situation.  The smoke originated on my stove with a now empty pan atop a burner set to "high".  Thankfully flames had not yet ensued, but sparks were flying. 

Retracing my steps of the evening, I remembered my plan.  I had put a pan on the stove filled with water to offer the kids their favorite standby dinner - macaroni and cheese.  In the craziness of the power outage and getting the kids settled next door, it never occurred to me that I had left a pan on the stove nor that I had left the burner on high.  The odor lingered with us for several days, but the thought of what might have happened plagued me for months.  Even now I shudder as I remember my own thinking of how I could have been so thoughtless.

One moment... one decision... numerous possible consequences.  Dear sweet friends, do you ever just feel overwhelmed at the thought.  In our own lives, in the lives of our children, in the lives of our friends, Frank has often uttered this wisdom, "all of us, Susan, are just one bad decision away from destruction..."    Now that's great dinner topic conversation, huh?  In all honesty can you relate?  Can you only imagine if that thought was the end... where it all stopped?  Would you be living in destruction even now based on some decision you made, or one that someone else made that affected you?

Oh friends, I am so overwhelming thankful that it doesn't stop there - that would be hopeless. I have known the name, Jesus, all my life - that was in no part my decision, but that of my parents for which I am eternally grateful.  But let's be honest,  knowing His name or even knowing stories about Him doesn't equal His influence or even His Hope in my life.  He is absolute hope.  Often when folks are struggling, Jeremiah 29:11 is freely quoted for encouragement, "I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  I love that verse and have clung to it often, but even the fact that HE promised those plans doesn't fix everything, does it? 

The following verse gives me the "plan", "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."  Sorry, friends, in all the versions I read, the answer was not, "...and I will fix everything."  He promises to listen; He promises to intervene when HE determines to, He promises to offer wisdom; He promise to give peace - one that we can't even understand; and most importantly, HE offers salvation -freedom and forgiveness.

Let's me be clear, when Jesus returns, absolutely completely, everything will be fixed... to His perfection.  For now will you trust HIM with everything.... every sadness, every hurt, every decision, every mess, every person, every thought, every pain...  He is trustworthy and He is listening...

One moment.. one decision... one Savior promises to listen -just call His name.

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