The Plan

June 20, 2019
by JJ Ollerenshaw

Genesis 28:15a – I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. (NIV)

This was my Scripture on the day when we flew to England this spring. It was very encouraging! Our plan was to visit several places, but not to rely on family — separated by considerable distances — to drive us.

The plan included staying with them, plus three hotels, car rental, trains, underground trains, and a bus trip. Booking tickets online was confusing; we often stopped to pray. After days spent on the computer, we decided that we had done all that we could. Then came a travel advisory warning Canadians not to visit London because of Brexit protests. This was very daunting. We put ourselves in God's hands.

Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (NIV)

Our eight-and-a half-hour overnight flight landed a half-hour late. We navigated a shuttle, the train, and then the tube (subway system) into London. The Northern train left from Kings Cross station. Somehow, in the myriad of tunnels beneath the city, we surfaced at Euston station. Our plan was beginning to unravel. We could take the tube back; instead, despite being tired, we opted for a walk "just down the road". Carrying luggage, it seemed a long way, but the sun was shining, and there were blossoms on the trees — we had left snow behind in Canada!

Back at Kings Cross, we searched the signboards. Our train was coming in at Nth platform. We saw platforms with numbers but no letters. An amused employee informed us that Nth means North! Feeling stupid, tired, hungry, and dirty, we fell into the train and prayed that it would take us where we had planned.

Reaching the Midlands, we located the car rental office, and were assured that the car had automatic transmission. Almost sleepwalking by this time, we heaved our bags outside. We blinked. A Mercedes Benz?! God was surely smiling down on us.

We set off in high spirits. Minutes later, we were completely lost. We had directions, but couldn't see the road signs. Traffic was on the left. Our tempers frayed. I cried out to God. Then, I noticed the GPS system. For the next week Sat-Nav was our best friend.

Later, in London, we wanted to sight-see without our bags. Prayer resulted in discovering that Left Luggage does not mean Lost Luggage! Laughing at ourselves, we planned to ride an open double-decker bus. The roads were completely blocked by protestors. God had come through so far; He would again. The ticket collector suggested a boat on the River Thames. It was a highlight of our trip.

God's plan was better than ours. He foresaw all the hiccups. Our vacation was a huge success. We were assured that God was with us and in control the whole time. The Bible tells us that God has plans for us, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11b NIV). All we have to do is to call on Him.

Prayer: Father, when we run to You, You listen. Help us to give all our hopes and plans over to You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <sandjollie86@gmail.com>
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful witness to His grace!


    Thanks, JJ. Travel can be daunting, but you had the best plan.


    Great devotional. Thanks for sharing your experiences and prayers.


    So glad you had a great time JJ and were able to write about God’s faithfulness.
    Blessings.


    I’m reading this in Iceland.
    God is here-in glaciers and geysers and waterfalls. Thank you for a writing that touched me.


    Dear JJ,
    Thank you for your devotional and Prayer.
    This is my prayer too.


    Thank you, JJ, for your comforting devotional. It made me feel so encouraged. May God richly bless you and your family.


    Thank you for sharing your exciting, fun, adventurous trip with us and reminding us all once again of God’s wonderful goodness and grace.


    Thank you, JJ, for sharing how the Lord came alongside you to guide you, even more to clear the way so that you’d have a great vacation! God is so good to us. Blessings.


    Thanks for your testimony this morning. I am struggling with something today (not new) that I cannot see the path ahead, but your witness has encouraged me to trust God will lead me on the right path. I only need to trust Him, and He will lead me step by step.


    Having been to London some years ago I can just picture this!
    Because I publish a newspaper with many deadlines, I am a planner. Can’t tell you how often God has upended my plans for the better! So much for being a control freak.


    Delightful story of your adventures in London!
    We are originally from Northern Ireland and have been here for a mere 50 years! We have contested with the London underground system a number of times and can empathize with your frustration! If only it was as simple as the Toronto one!


    Wow!!!!
    This devotional was crazy busy!! Goes to show God is in control no matter how busy and confusing our days are!! Glad your holiday was a success and God showed you how much He was there for you.
    Have a great weekend coming up and God bless.


    Hi JJ,
    What a lovely testimony of God’s provision and perfect plan! He made your trip and success! Also, as a Brit, l loved reading about all the London references you made. I would have gone looking for an N platform myself, if l had not known otherwise! Kings Cross station can be rather confusing!
    Blessings.


    Hello JJ,
    Appreciated your devotional this morning as it was so reflective of the fact that our loving God is ever near to help us through situations that may cause us fear or frustration because things are just not going the way we thought they should. A good reminder that HE is ever near and ready to hear our prayers.
    Blessings to you.
    (B.C.)


    Dear JJ,
    Your story instantly swept me back to last summer when I traveled to Europe with my young family. We were in London in July, and Trump’s visit / protests were all going on at the same time! So, it was hectic and confusing. What a blessing, however, to have my competent, confident son-in-law take charge in leading the way and figuring out logistics every step of the way! Bravo for you for managing on your own!


    I thoroughly enjoyed reading of your escapades in London. My, you were brave souls and persevering too! I related well to your tale re driving and getting lost. That was in years before GPS. I used maps and then missed signs and would be in the wrong lane for turning and going on meant a lengthy drive back. Glad you enjoyed the trip. If you had postponed who knows when Brexit will be over!! God is good indeed! A Mercedes to boot! Have a great summer!

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