“We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.”
–Proverbs 16:33

I don’t know about you, but my husband and I love to play Yahtzee. It’s a dice game in which you get three chances to score points by rolling five dice. Certain numbers or number combinations will get you a lot of points, so naturally the Yahtzee player wants the dice to land on those scoring numbers. But unless you’re a dishonest player, you really can’t control which numbers the dice will land on. Sometimes you only score 2 or 3 points, whether you want to or not.

Life works in much the same way. We all love to plan out our lives, but those plans often change without notice, and they may not work out exactly as we intended.

We believe that God changes our plans, for various reasons. He may want to improve our lives in some way, or He may feel that something we are doing or a habit we’ve formed needs correcting. Or, there may be a reason for a change in plans which we don’t understand. We ourselves may never learn why our plans were changed, but sometimes we will understand God’s reasoning if we are patient, and read between the lines of our situation.

About a week ago, Timothy and I went to the hospital to begin work for the day. Sheri, a fellow hospital chaplain, invited us to have lunch with her. She is a friend of ours, so we accepted and had a very nice lunch together. During lunch my head started hurting, and I decided I didn’t feel well enough to visit patients with my husband. Sheri insisted on giving me a ride home, so I wouldn’t have to take the 10-minute walk with an aching head. I wouldn’t have minded the walk, but I enjoyed talking with our friend, so I accepted her offer.

On the way home, Sheri offered to stop at the grocery store and buy me some medicine, since I didn’t have any with me. I waited in the car while she went into the store. Sheri admitted she was running low on gas, but since it was a 100-plus degree summer’s day, she left the car engine on so that I could stay in air-conditioned comfort.

A few minutes after she’d gone, the car started shaking back and forth. I began to get rather scared, but the shaking only lasted for about 15 seconds, so I figured everything was okay again.
When our chaplain friend returned to the car, she checked the gas tank and saw that she was running on empty. I figured that the car engine must have almost died, which explained the shaking.

We had to get a few gallons of gas in the tank before we could go anywhere. There was a gas station across the street, but Sheri was afraid the car would give out in the middle of the intersection. So she called her insurance agent, and we waited in the grocery store for a road service man to arrive.
By now I was pretty angry at myself for not taking that 10-minute walk home in the first place. My head was still hurting, despite the medicine I had just taken. I could have been resting in our quiet bedroom 20 minutes ago, but instead I was stuck in the grocery store because we couldn’t drive across one little street. After I got my feelings out Sheri comforted me, and we decided God had provided this situation as a little adventure between friends.

A few minutes later the service man arrived, and I was back in the stalled car again. Sheri and the service man talked for several minutes while he put some more gas in the tank. Soon we were finally on the way home.

As we drove, the chaplain told me about her talk with the service man. She found out that he and his wife weren’t Christians, so she got a great opportunity to tell the man all about Jesus’ love for him and his wife, and the sacrifice that he made for them. Sheri said a very beautiful prayer for the couple. Then she assured me that God had planned out this whole adventure in advance, so that we could serve as witnesses to His son. I felt really wonderful as I went into our house.

So, no matter what our plans may be, God just may decide to change them for one reason or another. But no matter what may happen, remember that God makes all things work together for good, if you choose to know Him, love Him and believe in Him.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please send it to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.

To find out more about HCMA, visit them at www.hcmachaplains.org.

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext.874157.