[Calvary Chapel] 2001-07-05 - Poison Ivy

Lam 3:25-28 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. 26 It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the LORD. 27 It is good for a man that he should bear The yoke in his youth. 28 Let him sit alone and be silent Since He has laid it on him. (NAS)

I'll tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to laugh. I'm an Eagle Scout and I have gotten poison ivy, oak and sumac so many times it is beyond me to remember. I was weeding one of the flower beds next to the house last weekend, and I got it again. It's finally starting to go away after a visit to the doctor. But, I've been told to stay out of the sun and no strenuous activity for a week - no sweating, no yard work, no exercise and no walking in the Pitman 4th of July parade. A good friend of mine told me her husband was bitten by a spider. It turns out it was a poisonous spider according to his doctor. The doctor doesn't want to disturb the wound but allow it to heal naturally. It's safer that way rather than taking a chance of spreading the venom. So, this gentleman has been told to stay off of his foot for a week - no work at all to allow this bite to heal. It seems that we two have been sidelined.

I was lamenting the existence of poison ivy to a friend of mine in a letter. I jokingly said I would have to ask God why He created these plants - knowing there must be a reason. But I wasn't interested since I was trying not to scratch the burns. The thought has stayed in my head and I have at least one thought.

I have been working very hard on finishing my Black Belt, and have indeed completed it. But it took a tremendous amount of time and effort. That time was taken from many places including family, friends and my writing time too. My friend's husband with the spider bite has been caught in a situation at his office where a lot of extra time has been required of him and everyone on his level. And now, due to "circumstances beyond our control," we are both in the middle of an imposed break. At the same time we have been given back time, given a chance to catch our breath and take a look around and regain some perspective.

It can be difficult to remember in the hustle and bustle of living that while there may be circumstances beyond our control, even those are pawns in the hand of God. These small medically imposed changes in our schedules are too well-timed to be accidents in my eyes. If we believe the Bible, we must believe that God is sovereign over everything. Nothing happens without Him knowing. Though we are accountable for our actions, it is He who guides the stars in their courses and poison ivy seeds and spiders too.

Isa 55:8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (NAS)

Lord Jesus - Help us to see Your guiding hand in the circumstances and trials both large and small that come our way. In seeing Your purpose, rather than the problem, we are blessed to know that we are in your care. Amen.

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com