As I was reading in Isaiah this morning I was reminded of a time many, many years ago when Dave and I and Kim and Koy attended a Cowboy Campmeeting in Prescott, AZ. It was a wonderful gathering of ranch type folks at a campgrounds in the Prescott area. We had arena games for the kids, great food like only ranch wives know how to cook, music and poetry and good old fashioned Bible teaching. Well, Sunday morning we all gathered up under some sycamore trees and different ones began to give praise to the Lord for what He had done in their lives – some pretty dramatic, some more common but I’ll never forget one old preacher who put everything in perspective for me that morning.
He was a preacher, maybe 80 years old, Bill Owen Sr. His son, Bill Owen Jr, was a well-known cowboy artist. Pastor Bill started out, “I would just like to thank the Lord for good planning. You see about 75-80 years ago He saw fit to have this stand of sycamore trees planted from a little seed. He watched over them and watered them down through the years because He knew that we would all be out here on this Sunday morning in August and that we would be giving Him praise. He also knew it was going to be a warm day so He made sure we had these trees for shade. Yep, God is a good God.”
That type of simplicity impacted my life. I decided right then and there that I was going to look at things from an eternal perspective – one where God had always been involved in what was going on around and where He would always be working things out to provide for my smallest need, even my need for shade.
This is what Isaiah wrote about in chapter 25 of his book:
“You, Lord, are my God! I will praise you for doing the wonderful things you had planned and promised since ancient times.
2 You have destroyed the fortress of our enemies, leaving their city in ruins. Nothing in that foreign city will ever be rebuilt.
3 Now strong and cruel nations will fear and honor you.
4 You have been a place of safety for the poor and needy in times of trouble. Brutal enemies pounded us like a heavy rain or the heat of the sun at noon,
but you were our shelter.” Isaiah 25:1-4 CEV
Take a look around today. What do you see that makes you realize God’s been planning this for your benefit? The Lord’s been thinking about you since eternity past and He has made plans just for you.
“I say this because I know the plans that I have for you.” This message is from the Lord. “I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future. 12 Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12 ERV