I fell back on my landscaping skills which I inherited from working with my father during my adolescence in his landscaping business. (1927- 1972). How fortunate I was. It was obvious that God had a plan.
Although teaching and preaching, my initial years were monetarily lean when committed to supporting four children. Assembling a competent landscaping crew, my little enterprise grew into an extensive ensemble of equipment along with a garden center.
Repeatedly pulling up to a home barren, without a sprig of landscape, the crew would ask, “now what?” Readily acquainting them with my landscape drawings, they called me, “The man with the plan.”
Throughout my life in ministry I have frequently dealt with people trying to cope with death; trying to come up with a plan, not only for themselves but for the care of loved ones in their senior and decrepit years.
Often I have witnessed adult children enduring extreme investments of time and money to care for their disabled and dying parents. Their conversations, particularly after the eventual death of parents, would lead to a discussion of their own death. “ I hope I go fast” or “I would sure hate to put my children through what we just went through” and lastly “I hope I can convince my children and my doctor to just let me go”.
We all wonder how we’ll end up — when, where, and how. However as people of faith — believing we have a most loving father, the author of our life here and hereafter - it behooves us to profess our faith that Our Father HAS A PLAN FOR US.
Acknowledging that he knows best, WE NEED TO PROFESS that whatever His plan, it will be best for us. Be it an instant car accident or a heart attack, be it months of languishing in misery and pain — SO BE IT! Might we have the faith and trust to say, “Bring it on Lord! Thy will be done!” We need the confidence that God’s plan and love for us is perfect. How much wisdom and preparation for the here-after is gained by us
and our children in accepting the Divinely orchestrated details of our death?
We dare not fight the Lord in life or death. Would that we all smile facing death, in confidence of God’s loving care… and our glorious entrance into his Kingdom. Any plans of living and dying independent of God are disastrous.
May our prayerful faith enable us to celebrate life and God’s plan for our death.
“Woe to those, declares the Lord, who carry out plans that are not mine, for an alliance but not by my spirit.” [Is. 30:1]
Who has the plan? May we be assured the Lord has the perfect plan for each of us.
The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of psychology email@example.com blog at inspirationsandideas