Jul 26, 2018

What's The Plan Phil?

Let me set the scenefrom “Modern Family” television show
Phil and Claire Dunphy have an old station wagon that they have decided to sell and Claire is having a hard time with letting it go; even though they haven’t driven it in a very long time.

Phil tells Claire; “It’s gonna be tough to say goodbye, it always is. Nobody loves change, but, part of life is learning to let go of things.”

To ease Claire’s pain, Phil comes up with a plan and takes the family of five on one last nostalgic adventure in the car; which includes take out dinner and a scenic drive.

As they are parked at a scenic overlook, Claire thanks Phil for his thoughtful trip, stating that she really feels better already.

As Claire and Phil are exchanging a kiss to mark this picturesque family trip, their son Luke lets everyone know that his stomach hurts from eating too fast and that he can’t breathe.

At the same time, a spider is found by Haley (one of the daughters); and she starts to freak out.

The windows don’t go down, so Phil offers to turn on the a/c, but instead turns on the heat which spews out hot air and dust; adding to their inability to breathe.

From there Phil’s plan all goes downhill.

Luke let’s everyone know that he is about to throw up. Claire tells him to use his meal bag to throw up in, but Luke says that it “smells like onions!”; which only makes him even more sick.

Meanwhile, Haley has become totally freaked out by the spider as she tries to get away from it.

Claire tells everyone to family to “GET OUT!” and they all leave the old family station wagon; without putting on the emergency brake.

As the family is outside in the fresh air, the car begins rolling backwards towards the cliff. Phil leaps on the hood spread-eagled and grabs on to the exterior air vent, rather than to try to get into the car and hit the brake.

Claire looks at him with a baffled expression and screams, "What's the plan, Phil?!" To which Phil relies; “At least I’m trying to do something!”

Claire cries out; “Let it go Phil” and the car falls off the cliff to the valley below.

As the family walks back in the darkness to their home, the three Dunphy children say mockingly; “What’s the plan, Phil?!”

Most of us can relate to Phil because we’ve been there. We make plans with the anticipation of great things, and disaster sets in. And life screams at us; "What's the plan, Phil?!"

To which we sheepishly reply; “At least I’m trying to do something!”

Or we have a promise of something and a plan to get “there” or “it” and then we run into obstacles.

From there it all goes downhill as we hang on, about to go off the cliff and no matter how we plan, things don’t and won’t always go as we think they should.

If that is you today, hear me compassionately saying to you; “Let it go!”

All throughout the scriptures we can read about great promises that ran into obstacles; or at least they seemed to be obstacles to the promise…

Alex, Haley, Luke
For example, the children of Israel were told to leave Egypt and go the land that was promised to them (Exodus 14) and they came to a sea and had no way to cross it.

From there, it all went downhill, because as they trusted only when the circumstances were favorable; instead of resting in the invisible and eternal God who has the bigger picture and the true plan.

Or how about Abraham? When he finally got the son that he had waited so long for, he is told to take him and sacrifice him (Genesis 22). He had to trust that even this would not stop God’s plan for him to not only have a son, but a son who would inherit all that he had.

Or how about when the disciples were in deep grief on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24) because the death of Jesus seemed to be an obstacle to the promised Kingdom of God. They didn’t understand that it was God’s plan all along to have death, burial, and resurrection.

Or how about Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9), who was going to arrest Christians and throw them into prison or kill them; and ended up surrendering his life to Jesus.
How about you and your situation?

Do you believe God only when the circumstances are favorable, or do you believe no matter what the circumstances may be?

Are you still trying to plan your way out of your mess or obstacle?

If that is you today, hear me compassionately saying to you; “Let it go!”

Even if you caused some of the obstacles, God isn’t thrown off by your mess. He doesn’t freak out and say, “Well, I really just don’t know what to do this time!”

God wants you to trust that He has the PLAN even if you can’t see it.

My friend, we have only a partial view here on earth of what exactly God is doing, His half-completed, half-developed plan; but all of it will make sense when this whole journey is complete. 

We start this by surrendering our lives and all of our situations to Jesus and trust Him bring us to the place of having a focus on who He is; knowing that everything else is wasted time and wasted energy.

That would be a good plan.

Not sure where to start practically? Follow this link: https://needhim.org/

Or drop me an email at: pastortommyoestreich@gmail.com

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