Help Following the Plans & Specifications | from Diane

by Elouise

In 1993 Diane flew to Savannah to witness my meeting with our parents. She told me she was having some strange symptoms, and thought it might be post-polio syndrome. Finally, in 1996 she was diagnosed with ALS. In this children’s sermon I can’t help noticing her emphasis on our need for help.

1 May 1994
What do you think these big papers might be?

…Plans! Right! For what?

…the new part of our church building. That’s right! But it isn’t all the plans. That was way too big and heavy! So I just brought the part that’s called the MEP’s.

MEP stands for the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing plans.

  • The Mechanical plans show where all the air conditioning units are and where the ducts will be. Ducts are like big tubes that the air goes down.
  • Then here are the Electrical plans. They show where every light switch is, every outlet, and every light fixture.
  • And here are the Plumbing plans. They show where all the pipes will be to carry the water.

After the new building is finished you won’t see all these things. But somebody has to make the plans for all of them and draw the plans up very carefully. They even asked me to help with some of this! They asked what kind of dispensers we want in the restroom. I was glad to tell them, because I had an opinion!

So all those fine details you might not think about at first are written in the specifications or drawn on the plan.

Right now some companies are looking at the plan very carefully. They’re deciding how much it would cost us for their company to do all these things. That’s why the details in the specifications and the drawings are important. They have to put in writing how much everything would cost if they build this new wing for us. Then we get to pick which company will do this for us.

Now I have another book here in my lap. What is it?

…A Bible! Right!

Did you know it’s also full of specifications? It’s all right here. All the details about how God wants us to build our lives. And there’s more! God sent Jesus to live on earth, to be like a picture of how God wants us to be. It’s all written down in this book, the Bible.

But there’s one big, important difference from the other kind of specifications. What if a company starts building for us, and something goes wrong, or they don’t do it the way the specifications say?

Someone will say No! That’s not what the specifications say to do. You’ve got to change it!

But you know what? When God gave us specifications, God knew we couldn’t do it by ourselves. You see, God doesn’t just tell us how to do it. God says I also want to help you do it!

We don’t do that when we build a building. We say this is the way it’s supposed to be, and you’ve got  to figure out how to do it! All by yourselves!

But that’s not the way God is. God says this is the way I want you to build your life, and I want to help you do it. So as you get to know God by coming to Sunday School, reading the Bible, and talking to God in prayer, you get to know how God can help you build your life.

I’m so glad God does it that way. Aren’t you? Let’s pray and ask God to help us follow the specifications God has given us for our lives.

Thank you, God, for detailed building plans for our new building, and for people who know how to make all the plans so the builders know just what needs to be done. Thank you much more for the book of specifications you gave us, the Bible. And thank you for sending Jesus to be a picture of how you want us to live, and for wanting to help us build our lives that way. I pray that we’ll do everything we can to get to know you better, and know how you can help us build our lives just the way you want.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 8 August 2015
Picture from