Clergy View: Lord willing


“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘if the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 ESV

I think it is fair to say this year has been the most unpredictable year of most people’s lives.

Maybe you had plans for a vacation overseas and because of COVID-19 no airline is even flying to that country. Perhaps on March 1 of this year you had that dream job that you were planning to work at until retirement but you have been furloughed with little chance of going back. The list could go on and on and on.

For many years when someone said to me, “I will see you tomorrow or next week or whatever” I have said “Lord willing.” Actually the only time we are guaranteed to live or do anything is right now. You and I can’t even honestly say we will be alive five months from now or five weeks or even five minutes from now.

I am writing this on a very somber anniversary day. No, it is not my wedding anniversary. It is exactly four years ago when my wife and I were on vacation headed for Colorado that she had a sudden heart attack in a motel in Grand Island, Nebraska. That changed nearly all my plans for the rest of my life. The year before I had retired and we bought a home in Florida and spent three sunny months there and looked forward to doing it for many winters to come. Meanwhile we had planned to do some long summer trips. None of those will ever come to fruition.


I am not saying we should never make plans. The Bible commends careful planning. In Matthew 25 Jesus used the parable of the 10 virgins. Five were foolish because they didn’t bring any oil with them. They hadn’t planned ahead. In Luke 14, Jesus used the illustration of a man who planned to build a tower but didn’t sit down first to see how much it would cost and ended up not being able to finish it. So how do we come to a conclusion based on what seems to be consistent with biblical teaching? Go ahead and plan carefully as far as you can but at the same time realize that we live under the grace and mercy of a sovereign God and our lives shouldn’t be completely shattered if we don’t see it accomplished.

But this brings up another subject but certainly related. Right now if you have never repented of sin and trusted in the death, burial and resurrection of the only Savior, Jesus Christ, then as II Corinthians 6:2 says, “…now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Today might be your last opportunity.

Max Day is the seniors’ pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Brainerd.
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