When Plans Are Disrupted
A friend of mine, Odilia, just started exercising regularly. Although she has always struggled with self-discipline, she’s managed to find a gym that offers exercise programmes that she likes. She’s been exercising three times a week, and has been getting fitter and stronger.
Another friend, Wendy, had postponed her wedding ceremony from last year to this year so that more people could attend. A people-person, she’s been looking forward to celebrating this significant milestone with as many family members and friends as she can. Her wedding takes place in two weeks’ time.
Both of them, unfortunately, have been hit by the latest news on tightened restrictions on social gatherings. While the stricter measures are needed to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the community, they’ve made things a little more challenging for my friends.
Odilia’s fitness plan will be affected by the closure of indoor gyms and fitness studios till May 30. That means that if she can’t find other ways to exercise, she might lose all the muscles and stamina that she has painstakingly built up over the months.
Wendy, too, might have to make some changes to her wedding plans. She and her fiance are now wondering whether to scale down their wedding reception to less than 50 guests, or help to pay for their Covid-19 testing if they want to invite more people. They will also need to relook many other details of the wedding.
Don’t we hate it when our plans are disrupted? I’m reminded of an incident when Jesus’ disciples similarly had their plans disrupted, in Mark 5:21–34. They were accompanying Jesus on an urgent mission: Jairus’ daughter was dying, and time was of the essence.
While making their way there, Jesus suddenly stopped and looked around. Someone had touched Him, and He wanted to know who it was.
To the disciples, this was an undesired interruption. Their tone revealed their frustration when they said, “You see the people crowding against you, and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” (v. 31).
Jesus, however, saw this interruption as a divine appointment—it was an opportunity to minister to a suffering woman whose illness had made her ceremonially unclean and deprived her of participation in community life for 12 years.
While Jesus was talking to this woman, Jairus’ daughter died. It was too late—or so it seemed. Yet, to God, the timing was just right. The interruption allowed Jairus to experience an even deeper knowledge of Jesus and His power—even power over death!
Edith Lillian Young says it well in her poem:
No good thing will He withhold,
From denials oft we gather
Treasures of His love untold,
Well He knows each broken purpose
Leads to fuller, deeper trust,
And the end of all His dealings
Proves our God is wise and just.
As we face the disruptions in our life, may we seek to know Christ deeper. He is in control and He cares, and He may be using the current disruptions to draw you into a deeper walk with Him. —Chia Poh Fang
Lord, You know
my disappointment and worries
over the latest disruptions.
Open my eyes to see
Your sovereign hand in my life,
and my heart to trust
in Your perfect plans for me.
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