First Person: It's just not your turn
by Dawn Reed
PRESTONBURG, KY – “Maybe it just wasn’t your turn,” I told the young lady. “Maybe it wasn’t for you.”
Upset about being left out of a non-church-related project, she was surprised at my comments, expecting something a little warm and fuzzy. Still, my words were true.
We often yearn to be connected, included, involved. We fear missing out on a good time or even a bad time. We don’t want to be left out.
I get it. We pray for God to open and close doors in our lives. Sometimes we don’t get to do the things we want … and it’s OK. He still has a plan; it’s just not our turn.
It’s a lesson I’ve learned myself. My plan is not always the best plan.
Several years ago, our church was planning a mission trip to Haiti. All the slots had been filled, except one. I had signed up to go. So had Stacy. Two women, one slot. My beloved, the pastor, was going to flip a coin to see which of us got to be on the team.
Before he did, I came to my senses. I had been on several trips before; Stacy had not. I was concerned that it might hurt her deeply if her pastor’s wife knocked her out of going. I could go another time. It just wasn’t my turn.
My beloved told Stacy she would be going. She was ecstatic!
Because Stacy went to Haiti and I did not, a baby’s life was saved. No kidding!
Stacy is a baby-holder. I am not. If she saw you this minute and you held even an ugly baby, she would beg you to hold it. I would not.
One day while that mission team was serving in Haiti, a long line waited to see the doctors. Stacy had finished with Bible school activities and had returned to the clinic to help. As she passed the long line of people waiting to be seen, sure enough, she spotted someone with an infant. She automatically asked, “May I hold your baby?”
As she took the baby boy in her arms, Stacy learned that it was actually his aunt who’d held him. He had been abandoned by his mother. He wasn’t there to see the doctor; the aunt was. Stacy knew right away that something was wrong with the baby. He was lifeless. She told the aunt through an interpreter that the baby was extremely sick and would need to be seen right away. Making her way through the crowd, Stacy presented him to the doctors. They found that he was dangerously dehydrated. IVs were started STAT. He had IVs that day and several following days. Many prayers were uttered. Though it was unlikely at first, he survived! Praise the Lord! Because it was Stacy’s turn to be in Haiti and not mine.
God has a plan for us. It is unique and specific for us. It’s not someone else’s plan. He will open doors for us. When He does, we will praise His Name and probably share it on social media.
When God closes doors, let’s stop knocking on them, trusting He is up to something else.
Of course, it’s disappointing when we don’t get to do what our heart desires. Knowing that God is a kind and gracious God who puts our daily puzzle pieces together can help alleviate the frustration and give us a heavenly perspective.
Moses didn’t lead the people into the Promised Land. Daniel wasn’t in the fire with his three friends. David did not build the temple. It just wasn’t their turn, and it was OK. God had a different plan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor’s wife in Prestonsburg, Ky.