Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

It is nice to Arrange so long as we let the Lord Rearrange!

John 10:3  “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.


Some weeks are really frustrating.  It seems as though we are spinning our wheels and nothing is being accomplished.  Every plan goes awry and every door seems to be closed.  Sometimes it does seem like Murphy (whoever he was) had it right when he said that the light at the end of the tunnel is the light of the oncoming train.


Recently we had a week like that.  We had planned on taking a trip to Colorado to see our family.  For various reasons that didn’t work out.  My wife and I had not really had a vacation all year, and both of us had a cough with chest congestion that we just couldn’t seem to get over.  My cough had subsided but my wife’s was still raging fairly well, but we decided to take the weekend and do something for ourselves.  We thought about going to Iowa City and retracing some of the things we had done when we first met, but last weekend was homecoming weekend.  We figured it would be impossible to get around or find a motel room.  So that door was closed.  We finally decided to go on a trip to see the colorful fall leaves from Dubuque, Iowa to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and perhaps points further north.  There was just one problem.  We still were going to have problems finding a room since everybody and their uncle Dudley would be out looking at leaves.  Now why we decided that we wouldn’t be able to find a room in the Iowa City area but figured something would work out on our “leaf” trip, I do not know.


We got to Dubuque later than we intended and visited Eagle’s Point Park. We figured it would be too dark to enjoy the scenery further north on Friday night so we started wondering if we could find a room.  We got into conversation with people at the park who told us where they were staying.  So right at 6 pm I called that motel and they had just had a cancellation.  We got a room.  So that night we found a buffet out in the middle of nowhere that was too expensive and not much good, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.  The next day we spent most of our time at Guttenberg.  We ate dainties that we should not have eaten and we watched barges go through the lock.  Then we headed for Prairie du Chien.  I told my wife that we would probably not be able to find a room, but we could get home in a little over two hours if everything was full  


We knew that there is a little congregation of Christians there that had built a new building about 18 years ago.  We had never visited them in their new building.  We found the building on the north end of town and decided to stay for Sunday morning if we could find a room.  There was a motel about two blocks away.  I went in to see about a room and the desk clerk told me she had just had a cancellation and I could have the room.  The next person that walked in was told that they were FULL.  The next morning, we surprised this very small congregation by showing up.  A man we have known for years wanted to take us out for dinner and another family wanted us to come for supper.  We wanted to go to Gays Mills in between so we agreed to those arrangements.  We had supper with our host family that evening and found out that they had his mother in an apartment that was built on to the house for her.  Since she wasn’t feeling well, she didn’t eat with us, but we went to her apartment to visit her and see the apartment after supper.  While we were there she slumped over in her chair and became incoherent.  He left arm was unresponsive.  My wife, the nurse, checked her and was convinced she was having a stroke.  The ambulance was called and she was given medical attention within the three hour window of opportunity for breaking up blood clots and keeping the stroke paralysis from being permanent. 


Now why am I meditating on this now that it is all over?  Because the woman was a believer and the Lord had his eye on her.  Her stroke didn’t take him by surprise and he put plans in motion so that when she had the stroke she would not be alone.  If we had not been there visiting, she might not have been found for several hours and perhaps not until morning.  As it is, she is now home and is apparently doing quite well.  So were all those rearrangements of our plans just because the Lord was leading?  I am confident that is true.  It is nice to arrange so long as we let the Lord rearrange.


The week where nothing was going right, had everything going right and we just didn’t know it.  It is so gratifying to realize that we were where the Lord wanted us when he wanted us there.  Yes, the Lord does lead us in the paths of righteousness for His names sake (Psalm 23:3). He does go before His sheep and His sheep do follow Him.  We might find ourselves following with a wheel or two dragging at times, but knowing that He has lead and we have followed so that someone else could benefit is very encouraging.


Lord, my prayer is that I might not be frustrated when you decide to rearrange my plans today.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of October 19, 2014

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