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Altered Plans

Altered Plans

It had been a few years since Red retired from his teaching position at the university, but for Red retirement did not mean a life spent clutching a remote control. After all, Red was retired, not dead. God still needed Red to use the gifts and talents He had given him.

Many times each year, Red and his wife Roberta took off in their motor home for another trip that was part vacation and part serving God through serving others in whatever way God needed them at that time.

Sometimes their trips took them to places where Red was to speak, an area where God had gifted Red. Other times God used Red’s skills to do some work at a church camp or to do repairs in a church that could not afford to pay someone for the upkeep of the church.

So many people were helped by the work Red and Roberta did in their community, but more than that, they were blessed by Red and Roberta’s presence. God must have been pleased with Red and Roberta, because they blessed people wherever they went.

On one such trip, Red and Roberta had mapped out their itinerary. They planned a trip south where they were going to spend a little time resting and relaxing with some other retired people in a motor home park before heading for a speaking engagement. When they finished there, Red and Roberta were to make their way most of the way across the country to do some work at a church camp. Red’s ministry knew no boundaries. Some-times God sent Red out of the country to do His work.

Red and Roberta left their home feeling that they knew the work that God had intended for them to do over the next few weeks. God had other plans, because there were people who needed Red more than those whom he had intended to help.

After a two-day drive, Red and Roberta arrived at their motor home park and began to unload the car they towed behind them. That is when Red and Roberta’s plans began to change. Trying to carry more than he should have, Red had his arms piled so high that he did not see the uneven ground ahead of him. Supplies went everywhere and Red’s scream alerted Roberta that all was not right with her husband.

X-rays revealed what Red already knew. The doctor came in to inform Red and Roberta that Red needed surgery, and because of the multiple fractures of his leg and Red’s advancing age, his rehabilitation would take quite some time.

Almost immediately, God began to use Red in a new way. Before being sedated prior to surgery, Red prayed for all of those who would be assisting in the operation.

The surgical team had never experienced a patient praying for them before, but then the surgical team had never operated on Red.

Red’s prayer before sedation was only the beginning. God revealed to Red the needs of those who were there to meet his needs. God used Red to pray for, hug on, and shed a few tears with those who needed God’s comfort.

God sent Red a nurse much too stressed from the rigors of her job. God used Red’s prayers and kind words for that nurse to bring about a sense of peace that she had never known.

Red shared God’s love with a doctor who needed a large dose of it. Red’s doctor was dealing with the stress of a rigorous operating schedule, but he was dealing with much more than that. The doctor’s wife had recently decided to call it quits on their marriage and took their son and moved out. Coupled with the burden of burying one of his parents only a few weeks before, this doctor had more than he could handle without God’s help.

As word of Red’s ministry spread throughout the hospital, many hospital personnel came to visit Red with prayer requests, to seek a few kind words, or to spend some time with a brother in Christ.

Over a period of several weeks, Red learned what many people never learn. Red learned that he did not have to be able to move from one location to another in order to serve God. He only had to be tuned in to where and how God was at work and in what way God wanted Red to help.

While Red ministered to the medical staff, those in the motor home community ministered to Roberta. Red had always assumed the responsibilities for the upkeep on the motor home. Since Roberta was not used to doing this, she did not know how, but many of the others of the community did, so they helped Roberta in whatever way she needed help. Not only did Roberta feel God’s love, but she experienced the love of a group of people who were strangers to her only a few weeks before.

Red did not get to do the work that he had set out to do, but he did the work God had intended for him to do. Because of Red, some medical personnel were able to rest a little easier. Because of Red’s physical condition, Roberta was able to experience God’s love in a way she never expected. Because of a broken leg, many people were able to stop and rest and abide in the love of Jesus Christ. As Red’s leg began the healing process, so did the hearts of many who would have never met Red and Roberta if not for some uneven ground.


The man in this story was retired, not dead. Because he did not stay at home watching television all the time, others were blessed by the things he did. If you are retired, are you doing things to bless others? Even if your health is not good and you are confined to your home, there are still ways you can be a blessing to others without ever leaving your home.

Most people today are not retired, and many of us make excuses of how busy we really are, and because of that we cannot do the things we wish to do for others. Many of us live our lives like we are in the middle of a blackout in World War II, causing us to huddle together in our homes and never venture out to do for others. Do you make excuses of how busy you are, or do you make time to help others? If you are in the second category, make sure that you are not constantly doing, for there are times when we need to rest and recharge our batteries. While God does not mean for us to sit back and do nothing, neither does He expect us to overdo things, which can cause us to have health problems.

God has given each of us gifts and talents. We are called to use them. Do you know what your gifts and talents are and are you using them? The couple in this story blessed people wherever they went. Do people consider you a blessing because you came or do they consider it a blessing when you leave?

The man in this story suffered the setback of a broken leg. While he was concerned about himself, he never forgot about others. Do you think of what you can do for others, even when everything is not going as well in your life as you had hoped?

Because of this man’s broken leg, he had to change his plans. Sometimes God changes our plans for a reason. Are you in tune with God so that you will know when He means for you to do something different than you had planned?

While the man in this story was not able to help as many people as he had originally planned, he was helping the people God intended for him to help. We must remember that it is not always the number of people we help, but the fact that we are working where God wants us to work.

The man in this story was certainly doing God’s will and word spread about the way the man was blessing others, because people flocked to the man. Have you ever done some-thing that was so much God’s will that people flocked to you to become a part of what you were doing?

While the man was confined to a hospital bed, people came to his wife’s aid to see how they could be of help to her. Always be willing to look for others who are being of service to others, or to others who could use whatever help you can give them, and be willing to reach out to those people so that they can be blessed the way God intends for them to be blessed.

Steve Demaree
1608 Summerhill Drive
Lexington, KY 40515
(606) 271-2416
[email protected]
Submitted by Richard

Our plans are not always Gods’ plans…

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