Have you ever had a plan that you had all ready to go and then it was frustrated by something outside your control? If you are one of the few people in the world who has not had this experience, here is one that I had on a vacation trip to Alaska.
We took the train from Anchorage to Healy, and then from Healy to the national park. Along the way, we were told that we should look out the window and we could see this unique house.
I placed myself at a perfect vantage point, found the house in the viewfinder, clicked the picture and this is what I found.
The train went a bit farther and, given the blessing of digital photography, I snapped another picture.
I got it! Here is the house, enlarged for better viewing.
We had been told about the Dr. Seuss House outside Willow, Alaska. The local folks say that it is 12 stories tall, sufficient to stand above the surrounding trees. The owner built the house after a forest fire and as a result of the fire, he had incredible unobstructed views of Mount McKinley (also known as Mount Denali) and of the Denali National Park as well.
However, as trees will do, the forest rejuvenated itself and new trees grew up after the fire so that the owner lost the view that he coveted. Not willing to concede defeat, he simply built another story on top of the existing house so he could see above the trees. This continued and, ultimately, he had a 12-story house, but at least he could see above the trees! The locals call it “The Dr. Seuss Tower House”.
[For more information about this unique house, you can find an article written by Alexa Carrasco, dated April 17, 2015 at http://www.curbed.com/2015/4/7/9972998/dr-seuss-willow-alaska-house. The article includes an aerial video of the house as well as some photographs of the entire building.]
My plan to take a picture of the Tower House was frustrated because between the time I saw the house and clicked the camera for the picture, trees intervened and blocked my view.
This, of course, is quite mundane, all I had to do to get my plan accomplished was to wait a moment and snap another picture. But, many of our plans that we create are not so trivial.
That same trip to Alaska actually was frustrated shortly after I snapped the picture when, after eating lunch at the End of the Road Restaurant in Denali National Park, I fell and severely broke my ankle. I didn’t know when I was taking the picture or when I was eating lunch that my Alaska train tour was going to end moments later. I spent the rest of the time in Alaska either riding for 6 hours in an ambulance out of the national park, riding for 6 hours in a taxi taking me from Healy to an Anchorage hospital (the nearest place that had x-rays), spending the rest of the week at doctor’s offices, surgery with 9 weeks of non-weight bearing ahead of me.
Our plans were frustrated big time! But God. Don’t you love reading those words in Scripture? But God had other plans for us.
Scripture tells us:
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.“
While the trip took a dramatic turn which we did not expect, the trip was in every way a success, and I even have the plates and screws in my ankle as souvenirs that most other people don’t receive! The Lord was especially present with us during this time. For example, we met people from the train who were missionaries to native Alaskans on remote islands prayed when they saw me fall and I learned that they told our traveling companions along the way that they were praying for healing.
On the only day after surgery that I could go anywhere to see any sights in Alaska, we drove to Seward and saw a landscape rainbow. It was as if God was saying “I know you only see the clouds of pain and difficulty ahead, but I am with you even protecting you from the clouds. Trust me. You are in my hands.”
My husband took a picture and then we rounded the corner to come back and get the picture from another angle … but the rainbow was gone. God’s message was received and He didn’t need to let it hang around any longer. It is my favorite picture from Alaska and we had it enlarged so that it hangs in our family room reminding us of God’s incredible love and constant care.
“O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.”
At the end of the trip, we were singing the Lord’s praises along with the prophet Isaiah. You see, God’s plans are not frustrated by anything. He knew I was going to fall and He also knew that He had put in place people that He wanted us to meet and experiences to have during this time. His love never fails and He is faithful and sure.
Beloved, when our plans are frustrated and we feel that we have been robbed of opportunity, don’t believe Satan’s lie – don’t think that God has let you down or that God is not in control of all things.
Our God is omniscient and omnipotent. He knows all things and He is all powerful. This Almighty God loves you and His plans for your life will be accomplished, even if they are seemingly interrupted by negative events. Trust Him and believe His unfailing Word.
Father, I praise your name for your steadfast love and endless mercy and grace. Thank You for your mercy in your provision of the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, Who provides salvation for all those who believe in His name. Thank You for your promise that You are always with us and that You will never leave us or forsake us, even when it seems that all is going wrong. We praise your holy Name.