Saturday, November 14, 2015

Off to Houston Again (God Has A Plan For That!)

This week has been one of ups and downs. My kids have had some victories in their lives and some sadness. I celebrated the life of a great man with his family and friends as we sadly said our final earthly goodbyes. I watched with sadness as our world was once again attacked by terrorists and I had to click off the news page as I read of mothers who have killed their children. Our world can be a really broken place. Meanwhile, life moves on and as mine does I face another trip to Houston for tests and doctor visits at MD Anderson. Normally as I gear up for that trip the verse, "They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD." Psalm 112:7 is running through my mind, but this week there is another I have been reflecting on. I  found myself saying it as I talked to our youth group on Sunday. I referenced it as I talk to my son about a loss he experienced that brought heartache. This morning it popped up on my phone as the verse of the day. I have quoted it to myself for assurance all week. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

As I read my Twitter feed this morning I saw a world asking how a good God can allow bad to happen. If He is so loving, why did people die? If He is so powerful, why do families fall apart? If He is so great, why do people get sick?  

"You know God, they actually have some pretty good questions there. If the plans you have for us are good, why does the world seem so bad?"

And then the verse ran through my head again, but this time it was if he placed the emphasis on the words a little differently. "For I know the plans I have for you are good." GOD'S plans for our lives are good, but there are other forces in the world. You see, free choice in the world led to sin. Sin in the world led to death, darkness, sickness. Yes, He could have kept that from happening, but to do so would have meant creating man to have no choice. He could have kept us from choosing sin and we'd all be living happily ever after in the Garden of Eden, but to do so would have required that we also didn't get to choose whether we loved him or not. He wanted us to choose Him, and because of that free choice bad things began. That doesn't change the fact that the plans HE has for us are good. God didn't sit down with a calendar and say that in November of 2012 Anna Jackson should be given cancer, but when that plot twist entered into my life he DID sit down and say, "Satan is planning an attack on my beloved, Anna. In that evil plan Anna will face cancer so MY plan is that in it she will find amazing joy. While Satan is trying to bring harm, I will show her peace. When Satan attacks with pain and nausea, when he takes her hair, her health, her energy, when he scares her children and husband and saddens her parents and sisters, I will show them things about me they never could have imagined. During the attack Satan thinks he has so wisely planned, they will be blessed by friends, family and strangers and they will see love. When they fear for the future, I will comfort them with provision. When the healing comes, but the tests continue, I will send remembrances of our journey together and remind them that my plan for them is good. In the end their memories of my presence will overshadow their memories of the pain. Through this trial, MY plan is to show them I am God. I am good."

Our world is broken. Man is mean. Satan is real. Pain exists. Bad things happen that should never, ever happen. But GOD, is good and his plan is to take the bad and use it to prosper us and not to harm us. Even if Satan takes our very lives, God has a plan for that.

This week people in Paris will have chances to see God in ways they couldn't have before. My prayer is that it brings revival and renewal to their hearts. This week my friends will begin learning to live without a man they dearly loved. I pray that as they do God brings comfort they could never have dreamed of. This week my son will begin to walk a different path than what he had planned. I pray that God will use it to show him opportunities he would have missed otherwise. This week I will travel to Houston for more tests. I pray that God will once again take my breath away with his love for me. The world is bad, but God has a plan for that!


  1. Anna,
    I'm not much of a writer but you definitely are that! Well said -- Praying for God to take your breath away again with His Love and Care!

    Sonya (Johnson) Terry

  2. I love this message!! So well said!! Blessings and comfort through your journey! Always choose what God has for yA and not what the world wants to weigh you down with. You are a blessing to so many!

    1. Erin, thanks so much for that encouragement! God is good! So grateful for that!