Photo credits: Pawel Czerwinski

Today should’ve been the beginning of a four-day major event at the office.

I could only imagine how it would be run: the directors piling in from different parts of the country, the program cues running, the documentation team scattering to capture moments of the event, the tech team flashing the slides and graphics, the music team leading the participants to a time of worship, and our speaker delivering a message that he has prayed and thought about for months.

But right now, I am at home and I could only imagine what this event would have been because yesterday, Taal volcano started spewing ash.

Local and international flights have been cancelled. People around Batangas have began evacuating. Transit around the area have become dangerous. Ash had started to fall in various parts of Luzon. Who would have thought that, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, a volcanic activity would take place that would literally change and ruined so many of our plans?

It is in times like this that hit me hard, like really hard in the gut, with a reality that I always try to avoid (but obviously can’t)—and it is the truth that we are not in control.

No one is in control. No matter how much we plan, how well we’ve made the necessary arrangements, how much time we put into making ends meet, how much people we have coordinated with… all of that wouldn’t matter if just one major disruption cancels out all of that.

Today’s event would have just been the first of four days of ministering and
equipping the staff of our organization. But this morning, our office made the official announcement of our event cancellation to the staff. We had to coordinate with our provincial staff who are now in Manila and check if they had a place to stay. We had to tell all our volunteers of the news, including those who filed vacation leaves beforehand to participate in our event. We had to talk to the suppliers and caterers.

With this, months and months worth of restless nights, team meetings, calls with suppliers, budget requests, and everything else I haven’t mentioned are now all left to the imagination. And while our plans may have been turned into imaginations, what we see now in the news are lives and dreams buried under mud and ash.

We really aren’t in control. And if you have control issues like me, the thought of it is both sobering and disturbing.

If there’s one thing that I cannot but help but call to mind— it is that only God is in control.

There’s a joke I once heard that makes a lot of sense, and it goes like this

Person 1: How do you make God laugh?

Person 2: How?

Person 1: You tell Him your plans.

Where is God in the middle of all this?

He is still seated on His throne. He is still in control, all-knowing, and all-powerful. He doesn’t need to offer any explanation as to why these are happening. He doesn’t need to defend Himself.

Does the thought of God seated on the throne bring you comfort and peace, or anger and offense?

Divine disruptions are great at revealing what’s really in our hearts. What we hold on to. What’s the most important thing to us.

If we choose to believe that God is still all that He says He is and seek after His plan even when we can’t see it, this means that He will also give us sufficient grace in all circumstances. Even the one you are facing today.

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