Do You Really Trust God's Plan for You?
22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees. 24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.” 26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him,he was placed in a coffin in Egypt. (NIV)
God has plans for each of us at the different stages of our lives.
Today’s text contains the final verses of Genesis. Joseph has had the privilege of holding his great, great grandchildren. In today’s world, there would be a five generation selfie posted to Facebook, at the very least.
But more significantly, Joseph repeats the phase “God will surely take care of you” two times. It was an expression of faith and confidence that God’s covenant promise would come to pass. Joseph believed this, but do we have that same confidence in God’s plans for our lives? Cheryl and I were put to the test in 1987 while we were located in Illinois.
I was rising through the corporate ranks, by way of several promotions, first at Firestone, then Cooper Industries. I was summoned by the boss and asked to consider a promotion and relocate to a transformer plant in Lumberton, MS. After the discussion, I returned to my office anxious to locate Lumberton in my small road atlas (remember that this was before personal computers and Google Maps). I could not find Lumberton! I needed to go find a larger road atlas.
Cheryl and I had our concerns. Was moving to Mississippi really God’s plan for us? How would a family of yankees be accepted by the locals? Were the schools really as bad as their reputation? Could we find a church?
Cheryl accompanied me on the interview trip to Lumberton. We were not accustomed to small town living, and Lumberton was definitely not the place for us. Fortunately Hattiesburg was a manageable commute and had nice housing, shopping, and medical facilities. The Lumberton plant manager knew that public education was a big question for us and had set up interviews with principals at a few school systems. Our interview with Carolyn Adams at Oak Grove was particularly informative and reassuring. She also enlisted the help of a high school Junior, David Hannan, to give us a tour of the Oak Grove schools (there was only the Elementary, Jr High, and High School at the time). David was engaging, articulate, and clearly enthusiastic about his school. Plus he invited us to attend his church, Temple Baptist, after we moved!
After much prayer and several discussions, we decided to follow God’s leading and move to Mississippi. Before long, we had fallen in love with Hattiesburg, her people, and Temple Baptist Church. Plus the job was rewarding and challenging.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘I know what I am planning for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you a hope and a good future’”.
Do you trust God’s plan for you at this point in your life?