Funny How Things Turned Out
My two sisters and their families spent almost a week here with us in Norman as we celebrated the Thanksgiving holidays with each other and my dad. It was our first Thanksgiving without my mother since she went home to be with our Lord last March. When we were all together during previous Thanksgivings, Mother was always in charge of the Big Meal. Even though she was confined to a wheelchair the last few years of her life, she still managed to plan the meal, issue instructions and direct the action in the kitchen. As we did the grocery shopping for her a few days before the feasting, my sisters and I would often talk about the various dishes Mom was planning and comment about how we had to do it “this way” because Mom was in charge, implying that if she wasn’t, we would have some different dishes on the table.
This year, we had our chance to do it differently. But, as we cleaned up after the Big Meal, I pointed out to one of my sisters, “It’s funny how things turned out. We did everything the way Mom always did it. We had every dish she always insisted needed to be included in our Thanksgiving meal.” Even though we always thought it might be fun to change things around, experiment just a little with the menu, we kept to her plan. As I reflected on this afterwards, I realized her menu plan had served a very gracious purpose, allowing everyone in the family to have at least one favorite food on the table.
Our Heavenly Father works the same way. He plans my life with one goal in mind: to show me His grace, “that my joy may be in you” (John 17:11). It’s funny how things turn out. Doing things my way won’t bring me ultimate joy, but living my life according to His plans will reveal to me His incredible grace and bring me His ultimate joy.