Perry Emerick – Mesa Campus Pastor
I can remember as a kid when I did something wrong, and I knew I was going to get in trouble…BIG trouble, of crying out to God and asking him to just put His finger on the situation and fixing it, just making it go away. I can remember when I was having struggles with my parents, and wanting things to be better, that I would ask God to just fix it, change me, change my parents, so that it would all work out and be right, and there would be no more problems. There were difficult times in my life when I struggled with things, that I just wanted God to take it away, to just dip his hand into my soul and scoop out the garbage that I just had such a hard time with.
It is very easy when we read the Bible, and we read these miraculous stories of God instantly changing a situation, to think that if we just had enough faith that God would do the same for us. To think that surely that is God’s best way, His plan A of fixing people. And yet, so often it doesn’t work out that way. Not that it never does, because there are plenty of people who it seems to have worked out that way for. But the vast majority tend to find hope and healing a different way…often what we consider God’s plan B.
Plan B is the slow, sometimes painful, vulnerable, tedious, costly way of working through those hurts, pains an struggles in our lives, of inviting people into them, of diving into God’s word, and embracing the transformation power of God’s Spirit to bring about positive change in our life. The reality is, this is the far more common way in which healing and growth happen.
I recently read the book, “How People Grow” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. In that book, they share these two ways of God’s impact on people’s lives. Yet what they revealed, which has been so profound in my life, is that what we often see as God’s plan B, is really God’s plan A. God’s intent was that we would find healing, hope, and forgiveness, in the shared community of Christ, and through the transformational work that comes through discipleship and community. And the reason I think God did it that way is much like folks who win the lottery. Often so many of those folks end up bankrupt because they didn’t appreciate what it took to earn that money. When we go through the discipleship process, working in community, we truly appreciate when we look back, the amazing work that came through Godly, broken people, seeking the Lord together and pouring into each other. And beyond that, we appreciate even more the importance of giving that away to others, that they might experience it too. Maybe its time to embrace God’s real plan A for your life!