Thursday, June 24, 2010

His Plan is Perfect

This Sunday, we were challenged by our pastor to read through the Flood narrative in Genesis 7 and study what elements of God's character are revealed in it. Our pastor gave us a few defining elements to being with: God hates sin. God always does what He says He will do. When God closes a door, only God can open it again. Other character defining elements were left for us to uncover ourselves. 

We've been going through Genesis for many months now. Ironically, perhaps providentially, we began studying Noah and the Flood narrative along about the time that Nashville experienced its own deluge of water: The Flood of 2010. I think because of my own experience with the flooding here, the impact of what Noah went through became evermore real to me. I'm sure others feel the same. The shear impact of what water can do to a place has forever left an indelible imprint in my mind.

So, it's from the perspective of my own walk through "our" flood, that I looked through the lens at Noah and gleaned my own thoughts about God and His character... on trait in particular.

What struck a chord with me most is "waiting" and its prevalence throughout Biblical faith. Waiting is especially poignant to me in relation to our flood and how to direct my mother-in-law. I do not believe there are many callings more difficult than the challenge of waiting because waiting involves blind faith and dependance and trust in God's ability to provide even in the midst of the unexplainable.

I believe that The Flood Narrative reveals, through waiting, that the character and nature of God purposefully follows His own Divine plan and no other. Noah not only had to wait, but he was also challenged to trust that God had a plan...a perfect one...better than anyone one else's. 

In every situation and circumstance, in regard to man and beast, God has a plan. It is His own plan, and His plan is always in our best interest. The challenge, then, is not only to wait, but to also trust in God's ability to steer us down a path of open doors and to steer us away from the path of those He has closed. 

As our pastor said, only God can open a door that He, Himself, has closed. How often do I find myself tugging at the handle of a closed door, choosing paths for myself based on my own intuition, and forging ahead in my own blind desire to have control?...once is more than enough. Unfortunately, I've repeated this behavior more times than I'd care to admit. 

However, my saving grace, our saving grace, is that God allows us, woos us even, back to His path, His plan for our lives. If God's character exhibits nothing short of perfection, then how much more perfect and absolute should His ability be to provide a perfect plan for us?

The days of Noah, his family and the animals were ordered by God. The amount of rain and the number of days it rained were perfectly calculated by God. The days that the ark rested on the mountain top were precise, according to God's plan... God did not allow the rains to persist longer than necessary to fulfill His plan to destroy the Earth with water. God did not allow Noah to leave the ark any sooner than the Earth itself was prepared by God to receive him...God does not miscalculate. Miscalculation is not a part of His character; however, perfection is who He is by nature and in character...His perfection applies to all that He is and to all that He does.

Lesson learned? Perhaps for today. What I know, though, is that I will try my own plan again while I'm waiting for His. I know this because I know of my human tendency toward fallibility, despite my soul's desire to follow God's plan. I also know, though, that God will direct my steps, and His direction always leads back to Him and to His plan for my life.

Throughout the history of the Bible, God reminds us that, "The LORD of hosts has sworn: 'As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand'..." (Isaiah 14:24) He has also promised that, He knows the plans He has for us, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) 

His plan is perfect. His plans will never fail.