Thursday, October 23, 2008


Anyone who has known me for at least 20 years can recall a time or two (or three!) when I became irritated. (Perhaps upset or ticked would be better word choices) Well, by God's grace and abiding that is now a very infrequent sight in my life. (And all God's people said "Amen!")

Well, I need to confess. This past Monday I was ticked, upset and irritated. It all started with a trip to southern Brazil by air.
A friend had offered to take me to the airport which is an hour away from my home. I told him I needed to be at the airport at 10:15 A.M. He understood me to say I wanted to be picked up at 10:15 A.M. When he did not show up at 9:15 A.M. I tried to call him on my brand new cell phone. It did not work. I was ticked, upset and irritated.

I finally got through to him and we left for the airport at 9:45. I missed my flight. The next one was three hours later.
I was ticked, upset and irritated. I felt really convicted of this state of mind but it was like an itch I needed to scratch.
Finally, I gave in and went back to abiding. Immediately I was calm. It really works.

I had a nice lunch and then I got in line to board my plane. When I did I saw the pastor of Brazil's largest church. They only have 34,000 members. I had met him on many occasions and had given him my book in Portuguese. I really wanted to have a talk with him someday and here we were in line together. We exchanged the traditional Brazilian hug and entered the plane.

I was in 11D. He was in 11F with no one in 11E. We had an hour and a half to talk about the Christian life. He told me that he has had his entire staff memorize John 15 since reading my book and hearing me preach on abiding.

For this moment to happen God had to confuse my friend, make me late, block my cell phone and re-schedule my flight.

If you think this was just a coincidence, think again. God orchestrates our circumstances every day. God even let me get upset, ticked and irritated just so this moment could teach me to let Him control what only He can control which is everything.

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