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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

"The Good Lord Willing And The Creek Don't Rise"

Growing up I always heard older people say, "the good Lord willing and the creek don't rise." They would use that saying after they made plans with someone. They were saying they had all intentions of being there unless something out of their control stopped them. While they tried to keep their promises, they knew there could be unforeseen circumstances. I was beginning to think about what this really meant in this time of uncertainty when I received a text from a coworker that read, "Governor Cooper just announced schools are closed until May 15th" due to the Coronavirus." You got it! Unforeseen circumstances out of our control! The creek has risen again!

Maybe we should get back to the basics. James 4: 15-16, "Instead you ought to say,'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.' But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil." Bottom line to me is that we are acknowledging that we need to trust God! It always goes back to trust. I think this is an expression of faith, acknowledging that we know we do not have total control over our lives. I think it is also an expression of faith, acknowledging that we do know Who is in control! When we acknowledge this we are being humble - knowing that God is in complete control! It is arrogant for us to think otherwise.

Today I deleted two things from my calendar by 10 a.m. One was for thousands of women gathering together for ministry in April. Another was for an appointment. And on hold for a wedding. These are all being cancelled today due to unforeseen circumstances. This can be hard for those of us who like to plan or for those who like to be in control. Some of the things cancelled are not a big deal and maybe we are glad they have been cancelled. Some of the things cause other issues like childcare. Some people find themselves unemployed. Some people are cancelling major events that have cost a lot of money. Weddings are being post-poned and even funerals or celebrations of life!

Paul wrote in Romans 15: 24, "...whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey,and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. Paul never got to Spain, instead he landed in prison. Proverbs 16: 9, "A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." It was in prison that Paul wrote the epistles. God had things for Paul to do! And what great things Paul did!

Many times Paul's plans did not turn out the way he anticipated. Sometimes the plans turned out much better and sometimes not, from our human standpoint. Remember it always comes back to trust. God can see the big picture! He also knows what He wants to accomplish. We can be sure they are for our best. Jeremiah 29: 11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Maybe if we started using this phrase again it would help us remember Who is in charge. It would remind the people we are talking to that we will prepare ourselves to be ready for the unforeseen. I believe God is reminding us right now of Who is in charge! We need to submit our life to His will. James 4: 13-15, "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say,'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.'”

Make your plans but keep in mind who is in control. God is at work in what you’re going through today—for your good and His glory. All you need to do is trust Him. Looking forward to getting together, like old times, Lord willing and the creek don't rise!


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