Order from Chaos: God’s Plan by Jo Russell

“Go ahead and watch a Christmas movie. I’m going to fold the clothes from the dryer,” Paul offered.

Carol was stunned. Not only had her husband offered to do a job she hated, but he was tackling  it with a smile. But she wondered. Does it take that much time to fold clothes?  “Isn’t that just one load? It shouldn’t take much time.”

“I’ll join you when I get done. I’ll even put your clothes away.”

That’s a pretty unusual offer from a CPA, she thought.

By the time the movie was winding down to the end, Mr. Organized returned. Paul had always folded his undershirts carefully enough to display at a department store sale rack. They would have fit inside the original packaging if he had saved it. But he finished with those and started taming other chaos: Carol’s.

Carol hung up casual clothes for the gym only if they didn’t wrinkle when wadded up in the drawer. Eventually, every drawer became a jumble with surprises around the edges.

“Where’s your sock drawer?” Paul wanted to know.

“It’s either the second or the third one down. You can’t miss it.”

Later, when she opened her sock drawer, she laughed out loud. Instead mounds of socks resembling foothills, Paul had paired the socks and in tidy rows aligned exactly east and west.  There were no mounds or surprises left. Everything was organized.

The Bible states that man is made in God’s image: [Genesis 1:27]. Even at that point in creation, God had demonstrated his creativity, spiritual nature, intelligence, moral expectations, as well as organizational skills. He didn’t start with a sock drawer, or even a sock. He began with nothing.

After Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden because of their sin, God planned to give humans a second chance to follow the way to heaven through his son, to be named Jesus. God was organized and knew just when it should happen. He didn’t manufacture a goal sheet or use a Gantt chart for achieving his plan at the right time. God began through the prophets hundreds of years before Mary gave birth to the Savior of the world.

Isaiah’s news was about 700 years before Jesus’ birth: “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” [Isaiah 9:6b-7]

And God’s organized plan for giving us forgiveness and a new beginning through Jesus is longer lasting than a CPA’s. For the invitation to accept Jesus stands for everyone for all time.

That forever gift is even better than Paul organizing Carol’s sock drawer in perfect east to west order.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. She lives in northeast Arizona with her husband, Ed. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]

 

 

 

 

Out with the Oil-Stained; In With A New Beginning by Jo Russell

Out with the Oil-Stained; In With the New

Carol knew long before they married that Paul tended to drive cars way past their expiration date. Not that he couldn’t afford to replace one, he just wanted to milk every moment of use out of his cars before he parted with them.

As friends hinted  that he buy a newer one, Paul countered each objection with, “It’s still a good car!”

“All you need,” Carol teased, “is foam dice hanging from the rear view mirror, leopard-spotted seat covers, and fur on the dash! What a show stopper it would be!”

But Paul answered her with a resounding “NO!”

Still, Paul came into marriage with Carol with love, optimism, a smile, and the still-good car he dearly cherished.

While Paul was driving to the trout-rich pond with Carol on their first fishing date, Paul and Carol had to shout because of a knocking in the front end as throaty as a Harley’s mufflers. With front-end vibration that spelled pure tractor power, Carol found her coffee had sloshed over her jeans.

“That’s the all-weather tires,” Paul explained. “But it’s still a good car!”

On the way home, the engine light went on. “Maybe you should check that,” Carol suggested.

“Naw. It’s just a sensor that costs $$$.  Doesn’t mean a thing. It’s still a good car.”

The adventures continued after they married. Carol flipped the visor mirror down, but it wouldn’t open.

“Spring’s broken.”

Paul was a real gentleman when it came to opening the passenger door for Carol. But that continued into their marriage because he didn’t have a choice. “Locks broken on the inside.”

A dark spot decorated the driveway. “Needs oil. It uses a little –  but it’s still a good car.”

As the spring weather grew warmer, Carol fanned herself and pushed a button when Paul mentioned, “The air conditioner doesn’t work – but it’s still a good car.”

At what point should Paul consider a newer car?

Or at what point should we consider a new kind of life? Often, isn’t it easy to think, “I live a good life. I am good to other people. Look at the help and time I’ve given others.”

But often our old life, which may be plagued by breakdowns, needs to be retired.

But a new life is available in its place—one that comes in Jesus Christ. All it takes is to ask for forgiveness for wrongdoings and accept Jesus Christ as the son of God. Let him live in you!

You are new! You are a child of God! You are adopted into God’s family.

Proof of that is in this verse: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” [2 Corinthians 5:17]

Today is Easter – a celebration of a new life because of God’s forgiveness. Because of the gift of Jesus, we are given a the opportunity to accept new life without cost.

And God’s gift – a new life without cost or breakdowns– beats any four-wheeler out there that is still a good car!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]