Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lord Willing

As Alyssa and I were finalizing plans to go to Israel, multiple people requested that we write a blog to keep people updated (more than short status updates on Facebook). So here it is. Our blog. Enjoy :) 

Also, as Alyssa and I were finalizing plans to go to Israel, people often asked us when we were leaving. I noticed Alyssa would always reply, "Lord willing, we'll be leaving July 2!" There was one occasion, maybe just two weeks ago, when upon hearing the phrase, "Lord willing," I thought to myself, "Alyssa... You're making people think you don't know if you're going or not when you say that..." Ha. I quickly realized the problem with this thought, and remembered Proverbs 27:1 -- "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." Yes. This was the correct way of thinking. But it still caused me to examine myself.

I came to love Alyssa's use of this phrase. A spoken acknowledgement of the sovereignty of God. 

But oh, the deceit of the flesh! Almost every time I've ever made plans, thinking they were set in stone, they seem to unexpectedly shatter. I know this. I know this, yet I continue to put trust in my plans. Lord, help me to put my trust in You and know Your pleasing will! Not simply what You will permit, but what is pleasing.

As it turns out, the Lord was not willing that we leave July 2nd.

What He did will was something that seems incredibly cruel to our finite and imperfect minds. We truly do not know what a day will bring.

But I have come to realize that our idea of what is good or bad is  tragically flawed by our imperfect love. God's love is perfect. What He, in His love, wills may or may not be what we consider good. But we have no authority to judge what is good in the sight of the Lord. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. Filthy. Rags. Who can understand His infinite love and perfect ways?

Our Lord has so many names. So many facets. This past week we have met the Man of Sorrows face to face. 

In vain, we attempt to hide our face from this Man. We are not attracted to Him. We despise Him. We do not esteem Him. To us, He is stricken, smitten, and afflicted. Why do we have this reaction? Because we shudder at looking upon the One we have pierced

"Tell me, all who hear Him groaning, 
was there ever grief like His?...

Mark the sacrifice appointed;
See who bears the awful load;
It’s the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
Son of Man and son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation;
Here the refuge of the lost;
Christ, the rock of our salvation, 
His the name of which we boast.
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,
Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded
Who on Him their hope have built."

Let us build our hope on this Man of Sorrows, on Him who is well acquainted with grief. He, in His perfect love, gave up His life for those who did not deserve life. Let us thank the Lord for His love that is so beautifully different than ours!

I do not know if there is a purpose for our delay, but we are now leaving today at noon.....Lord willing.



  1. Oh, Olivia... This was so beautifully and poignantly written. I have also been made aware that our plans are not our own and reminded thru God's Word that we may make plan, but it is the Lord who orders our steps. Thank you Alyssa for the reminder to qualify "our plans" with "Lord willing"...

  2. Olivia... I have almost no words ... what wisdom you write with. No surprise... you are sooooo His. And He is sooooo yours. It's evident -- in all you do and who you are, even when it's just you, at home... you are amazing. Love you!

  3. You write beautifully Miss Oliva, just like your mother! Safe journey and I look forward to reading more of your journey!
    God Bless~