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COPING WITH "MURPHY'S LAW" (published in The North Weld Herald/Voice 5/20/13)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:18 PM by Fccea Webmaster
Minutes after takeoff, travelers aboard the Chicago-to-LA flight were surprised to hear: "This is a recording. You are privileged to be on the first fully electronically-controlled jet. This plane took off electronically. It is now flying electronically. And it will land electronically. This plane has no pilot, no copilot, and no flight engineer; they are no longer needed. Don't worry, nothing can possibly go wrong -- go wrong -- go wrong -- go wrong -- go wrong -- go wrong -- go wrong . . ."

Life has a way of constantly reminding us that "control" is an illusion. In the business world we referred to this phenomenon as "Murphy's Law" which states, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong!" Life is full of surprises, most of them unpleasant. How do we cope?

The Bible answers: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."

This truth is beautifully illustrated in the account of Joseph's life which I commend to you (Gen 39-50). He got lots of surprises. Jealous brothers sell him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver and bloody his multicolored coat as "evidence" to his father that he has been killed.

Later, when he rejects the advances of his owner's bored wife, she tears another coat from his back and uses it as "evidence" of rape. His reward for obeying God -- two years in an Egyptian prison where his further good deeds go unrewarded. He was forgotten by everyone.

But not forgotten by God who is weaving a magnificent story. When God reveals the interpretation of Pharaoh's dream to Joseph, he suddenly finds himself elevated to the No. 2 position in Egypt. And now we see, and Joseph sees, God has been "making straight his paths" the whole time.

Twice as he is humbled he loses a coat which is used as evidence against him. Twice, as God elevates him, he is given a new coat by Pharaoh. That Joseph recognizes God's theme of coats and silver is shown when he blesses his undeserving brothers with coats and silver -- taking the symbols of his own humiliation and downfall and turning them into blessing for others.

Most of us would long ago have succumbed to bitterness, vengefulness and cynicism in Joseph's place. So what gave him the ability to persist even as his life was in free-fall through no fault of his own? He tells us in Gen 50:20 when he explains why he gifted his brothers when he was perfectly positioned for revenge: "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."

Joseph looked beyond the circumstances to the God behind the circumstances. He believed that in God's hands, despite all appearances, nothing could truly go wrong -- go wrong -- go wrong -- go wrong! The best security one can ever have against life's surprises -- faith in a God who is bigger than whatever goes wrong.

By His Grace,
Pastor Dave