by: Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer Columnist Barb Lissow

July 29, 2020

When All Else Fails

God who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord is faithful. 1 Corinthians 1:9

My husband likes to travel…not so much by airplane, but especially in his crew-cab Ram pickup.  One of the biggest challenges, however, with traveling for my husband, is taking along his wife, and usually the dogs, and ALL of the suitcases, bags, boxes, ice chests, paper goods, healthy snacks, books, writing supplies, Bibles, dog food, water and dog food bowls, extra bottles of water (for the pups), towels, hand wipes, hand sanitizers, pillows, blankets, glass cleaner (for sloppy dog-nose prints on EVERY window in the truck), our vitamins, flashlights, hats, gloves, coats, my travel neck pillow, chewing gum, toothpicks, Chapstick, plenty of clothes for every kind of weather, extra socks and undies…well, perhaps he has a reason to start complaining three days before we leave: “How much stuff are you taking this time?”  But, my thinking is just in case something happens, there has to be a plan, and then a back-up plan…right?  Now, most people have a Plan A; some of those even have a Plan B, but some of us Type-A-personality-control-freaks (that would be me) must also have Plans C, D and E.  And “Why?” you might ask, does there need to be the excessive, extra stuff packed into those suitcases, boxes and bags? Here’s my simple answer:  Just in case all else fails.

But what is it that I really fear?  Not being able to whip out a scrumptious snack of apple slices and cheese cubes at a moment’s notice?  Really?  Is there anywhere we might travel where a store of some kind is not just around the corner?  Or is this really an issue of control, being in charge, thinking and planning ahead for any and all possible circumstances, just in case all else fails?  If I am that controlling in my worldly life, am I likely to carry the same Type-A personality into my spiritual life as well?  Can I truly let go of my tight-fisted grip on things and learn to trust that God is the True One in control of my life?

God Bless Truckers Tote Bag, by americanbreadwinner, Pocatello, Idaho.

Worry and fear are NOT of the Lord! (Matthew 6:25-26: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?)  Giving up the desire to control all of life’s circumstances is truly a gain….a gain of FREEDOM, my friends, especially when we surrender that desire to control our lives to the ever-faithful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Jesus is always there…He is faithful, even when all of my best-made plans fall through or don’t come into being.  Is there any burden that can’t be relinquished by laying it down at the feet of Jesus – just as long as we don’t pick up, take back that old garbage bag of stuff, and start toting it around again?  Truly, I am unable to count the times and ways He has been faithful to me in all my years.  However, many such times are recognized only in looking back, rather than seeing and understanding His goodness and faithfulness in the middle of my distress or challenges.

Christ always knows our needs even before we ask; His goodness is tender and sure, and His guidance and wisdom are provided in His Word.  When I fail, He is there to pick me up, and when I’m weak, it is my Lord’s strength that gets me through.  I can rely on Him in ALL circumstances (Psalm 40:5: Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us.  None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.)

Truly, I do understand that God has given us the gift of reason and wisdom to plan for ourselves and our families because He is a God of order, justice, and love.  But, I don’t want to wait until all else fails to turn and rely on my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His will for my life…I want to learn to trust and rely on HIM FIRST!!  I yearn to lift my tightly clenched hands into the air and to open them up in praise to Him who saved me!  Yes, to quote an old saying, “I want to let go and let God!”

So, my dear husband will be glad to know, there is hope for our future travels….I’m cutting back to a Plan A (and maybe a Plan B).  God’s provision is sufficient! (2 Peter 1:3: His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.)

Don’t wait until all else fails!

Barb Lissow, Faith Lutheran Church, Pocatello

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