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The Master Plan
By Joanne Blundell Marsh
Friday, November 22, 2002
The Master Plan
Do you know what surprised me the most? It all worked out just fine. Romans 8, verse 28 (NIV) says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Oh yeah, Paul had it figured out when he penned those words. He possessed an awesome knowledge, concerning his Father. If today, we would embrace these truths with the same confidence.
Born into a world of uncertainty, assuming a mysterious existence, being intrusted to mortals for nurture and protection, makes for a rough beginning. What's the likelihood, of being placed in a promising environment? I'm a little bias because there are moments, I feel God gave me special treatment. You see, He selectively granted me, a loving Christian home. I commenced this journey, with a knowledge of Christ and an understanding of God's Love. Fortunate for me as a child. Crucial for my future.
Learning, listening, comprehending, all critical elements of growth. We are expected to become wiser and more level-headed. Strangely, something went amiss along my path of development. Not because I hadn't been educated in Christian living, I most certainly had. My guess is, a little stubbornness, a tad bid of independence, a speck of peer pressure and a lot of temptation. Throw this all in one basket. The odds were not in my favour. My parents, all their advice and concern, they'd have to be disappointed. After all, they did their duty to show me the way. It was entirely my decision, to follow their lead.
Those years of isolation. True, there was no need to be alone and in despair, but I chose to disregard God's plans for me. Don't kid yourself. Deep-seated in my mind and soul was still that same knowledge of God's love. Entrenched in the recesses of my heart was a fond appreciation for my childhood lifestyle. That sort of assurance and love never strays far from a person's spirit. Why, was I so pigheaded, in relinquishing that desolation and loneliness? Silly me!
I did, eventually, admit an urgency, for God's presence in my mixed-up life. And not one minute too soon! There was just no possibility of my survival, spiritually, carrying on "my" custom-designed crusade. In His mercy, God persisted to call and convict me. Ultimately, He plucked at my heartstrings, opened my eyes and restored that childlike security to my misguided spirit. That my friend, was "the" most grown-up resolution. It was about time!
Yielding to God . . . the best decision. Quickly, I recognized my need for a strong faith and a steadfast trust in Him. Unfortunately, this choice didn't revoke hardships and temptations. Actually, I was tried and tested on every side. I felt put down, let down and cast down, too many times to recall. In my growing understanding of God, I sensed this affliction subside, when meeting with the Father, granting Him control. Surrendering my weaknesses and inhibitions to God, was and is, the sole solution to my frustrations. A lesson learned!
God is awesome! How could I permit, ideals and patterns of mankind, to distort my scruples, persuading me to choose an Unchristlike lifestyle? As Christians, we too have reservations concerning our faith. There are fleeting instances, when God seems light years away. The good news. He's as close as the whisper of His name. Amidst those apparently insurmountable struggles and those freaky illusions clouding our view, God appears with power and assurance, revealing His infinite love and His boundless grace. How blessed I am!
Would you label Multiple Sclerosis, a blessing? Yes, I was diagnosed with MS in 1998. What a blow! Talk about challenges. This hangup, couldn't be rectified overnight. The confirmation of any terminal disease, scarcely put on the back burner. This illness, turned my whole world, upside down. The quaint little Hair Salon, I had established . . . a mess. The idea of financial security . . . out the window. Not a single aspect of my life, seemed stable, or genuine. It was as if a tornado hurled down, sucking every shred of rationality from our home. Not a pretty picture!
Somewhere I'd heard, "trials make you strong." Have you heard that too? I've proven this truth, over and over again. That stable and genuine aspect I presumed lacking, I soon discovered to be as steadfast and trusting as ever. My "One" mainspring of reliance and strength, my Heavenly Father. He hadn't abandoned me. I may have lost my focus, amid the jigs and the reels. But, He sat beside me in the stillness of the night. He watched over me, laying in that hospital bed infused with anger, disappointment and pain. He lifted my shaken spirit, my fountain of tears and reminded me that all would be well. Of course, He was right!
Wow, 2002, nearly four years since Multiple Sclerosis moved in. An earthquake, sure, but I'm not shaken. Maturing imparts obstacles and complications, every other day. I have grown tremendously since MS and blessed immeasurably, over the past four years. MS introduced me to a wealth of beautiful people. I've been refining this writing ability that God has so graciously, gifted me with. In weakness, I am striving to comfort a lonely friend or isolated soul. That Christian teen walking the wire, so to speak, my desire is to encourage them and lend a compassionate ear. I aspire, to make my witness count. I think I can!
Do you know what surprised me the most? It all worked out just fine. Oh yes, God had a plan for me. If I were to envision it, never in my wildest dreams would it lead me here. He is the Mastermind! Someone, who could hang the stars in place, had no trouble setting me straight. I thank and praise Him for that. What might the next challenge be? Nothing shocks me anymore, but I am not consumed with fear anymore. God has performed astonishing changes in my life. He's been assigning me to situations, where these transformations can be seen and availed of. It's all part of The Master Plan!