Monday, July 20, 2015

The Plain of Oh NO!

This is by Robyn Bloem,

Recently while sitting in a bible study group focusing on the book of Nehemiah; (I admit my mind had wandered), I distinctly heard this phrase. “And they dwelt on the Plain of Oh No!” I looked quickly down at my bible and saw the quote-okay, granted it was spelled “Ono” but I heard what I heard.   
Steve and I were reeling over some recent events where that short phrase was the first thing out of my mouth. OH NO! So, I leaned over to Steve and my friend, Heidi, who was privy to the recent events and whispered. “…sounds like where WE live.”  Steve and I shared one of those married “looks” and refocused on the lesson. 

But have you ever felt like that? Okay, let me answer that for you.  
YES! If you live in this fallen world (and if you are reading this, you’re still dwelling here amid many OH NO! events) where sin and sickness and tragedy happen daily in the lives of earth’s inhabitants, then yes, you, too live in the Plain of OH NO! Sanballat and Tobiah actually did want to harm Nehemiah in that Plain of Ono, but Nehemiah was steadfast and wouldn’t bend to their proposal. Like Nehemiah we need to stay focused on what on what the Lord has called us to do-we may say OH NO! But we have to keep doing His will. 

How do we respond in this Plain of Disappointment, the Plain of Sadness or the Plain of Regret? If we know the Lord, we persevere in tribulation, trust the Giver of Life, the Allow-er of Difficult situations and the One who has His hand in our lives-always! 

When our daughter, Lindsay, was killed, I had to ask myself the question: “Can someone else ruin God’s will for MY life?” I used to sit in my extreme sorrow and wonder how this could happen to us and how something so tragic, dramatic and totally life-changing could happen to us and perhaps be the ruin of our family? And how could it happen at the hand of a complete stranger? Well, the answer may seem obvious now, but then it became my heart’s deep truth that a drugged driver who hit and killed our innocent daughter and granddaughter could not ruin God’s will for us-not for me personally and not for us as a family. Now, the way we chose to deal with it could change our lives and then that becomes our fault if we choose wrongly.  

We all know that bad situations can be turned for the better. We know that man can mean it for evil and God can use it for good.  Even culture says “If you are given lemons make lemonade.”  Well, as Christians, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will work something good and beautiful through our circumstances when lived out within His will and in His way. Some days in that Plain of OH NO!  we can only trust.  

Steve and I made a cross country trip five years ago when our son was in a very serious car accident. Details were sketchy, our son was confused from slamming his head over and over again and all Steve and I could do was pray, sing the old hymns and keep driving. We drove four days from Grand Rapids, Michigan to San Francisco and didn’t know what we would find when we got there. He has since recovered and is doing fine, but what a nightmare that OH NO! experience was. And even though it turned out positively, we still had to cross that plain.  

So, if you are now in the Plain of OH NO! Or if you should be called to cross it tomorrow, stay steady; trust God and don’t allow it destroy you or your faith.  God will sustain you as you keep close to Him. Heaven is coming and then we will never have to pass over that plain again. 

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