And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28
Os Hillman tells a story about how God’s purpose can prevail over our plans. From a very young age, Samuel Morse had a strong desire to be an artist. He had talent and was able to master his craft. Finally, the day came when he was able to sell some of his work. But the fulfillment of his dream was short-lived. It was difficult to make a living as an artist, and he suffered a series of personal setbacks.
Heartbroken, Samuel went to Europe to mull over his situation. On his return trip–aboard a ship crossing the Atlantic, Samuel heard about advances in electromagnetism. “If the presence of electricity can be made visible in any part of the circuit, I see no reason why intelligence may not be transmitted by electricity.”1
Samuel worked hard. Acting on what he had learned on the ship, he invented the telegraph and developed Morse Code. Eventually, his projects received needed funding. In hindsight, Samuel said, “The only gleam of hope, and I cannot underrate it, is from confidence in God. When I look upward, it calms any apprehension for the future, and I seem to hear a voice saying, ‘If I clothe the lilies of the field, shall I not also clothe you?’ Here is my strong confidence, and I will wait patiently for the direction of Providence.”2
Without Samuel Morse’s initial inventions, we might not have faxes, e-mail or the Internet today. God’s plans are not always our plans, for His plans often carry an even greater purpose. “The LORD works out everything for His own ends–even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Proverbs 16:4).
1. What plans do you have that must continually be given over to God?
2. Why is it difficult to put our plans aside and trust in God even when we read Scriptures such as Romans 8:28?
1. Samuel Morse, quoted in “Glimpses,” issue 99 (Worcester, PA: Christian History Institute, 1998).