The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Cup and the Saucer"
"Plan A and Plan B"
My paternal grandmother Emmie made coffee in a stovetop percolator commonly used in her day. This meant the coffee was often too hot to immediately drink directly from her cup. I can still see her as if it were yesterday, pouring the steaming beverage into a saucer so it would cool more quickly and become drinkable. Experience had taught the the saucer would be necessary, so she always had it ready to be be able to improvise, something we all do in various ways.
As so much about her does, this reminds me of God in His relationship with human beings.
"Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel" (Exodus 19:5-6).
Of course, according to His infinite understanding and foreknowledge, the Lord well knew His chosen earthly nation Israel would not obey and keep His covenant. Thus, He was perfectly ready to improvise and use Israel to fulfill even greater purposes for her than had she been faithful. Like my grandmother and her coffee, God had prepared a "Plan B" that might actually be considered His "Plan A." Yes, God's grace and truth in the Lord Jesus Christ shines in ways it never could have had Israel fulfilled God's will for her as a nation (which by God's redeeming grace she one day will - Romans 11:). Through a people willfully wayward and rebellious, God nevertheless brought forth the Son of His grace to make possible redemption for all. "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord… The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ" (Luke 2:10-11; Galatians 3:24).
The truth applies to all humanity, and all individuals. God perfectly knows what is coming in every person's life, determines much, allows much, and knows His capability to coordinate all and fulfill "the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:11). This includes the most devoted believer and the most rebellious sinner. All somehow flow with the current of God's ultimate purposes, whether happily or unhappily. The devil himself can do nothing without God's permission, as confirmed by the book of Job (Job 1:12; 2:6). This does not preclude the real significance of choices that result in great and grave consequences to every person, based on how we respond to God and His grace and truth in Christ. It does mean, however, that His "Plan B" will transcend the seeming liabilities of "Plan A" to the degree that His glory will shine far more brightly because He had to pour, as it were, hot coffee into a saucer.
I learned a lot from my Grandmother Emmie, by both her counsel and her conduct. This includes the cup and the saucer, which reminds me of the wonder of our Lord's ways of grace and truth in Christ. Let us join the Apostle Paul in his exultant expression of joyous wonder…
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto Him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen."
Weekly Memory Verse
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
(I Corinthians 6:20)