Bay of Pigs

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A person plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

The Bay of Pigs invasion was apparently a poorly advised and planned invasion of Cuba designed to diminish Fidel Castro’s influence on the Cuban people. The newly elected President Kennedy had been advised by his military leaders that Cuba’s alliance with Russia posed a threat to the United States since Cuba was so close. The story of the invasion reads like a tragic comedy – American planes disguised to look like Cuban planes, loud speakers making noise on boats offshore to sound like gunfire to scare the people and using some 1400 Cuban refugees to lead the charge. Long story short, it failed:  some 1000 of the refugees were killed, hundreds were taken captive, America looked foolish and the popularity of Castro grew tremendously as did his connections with Communist Russia and he built nuclear missile plants in several places across Cuba. It cost the United States $53 million dollars in baby food ( I told you it read like a comedy) and medicine to buy back the exiles. Afterwards, President Kennedy took responsibility for the fiasco but commented that just because someone is a high-ranking military officer doesn’t mean they know that much about the military or something to that effect! He learned a valuable lesson – be careful whose advice you take.

So, let’s bring that closer to home. If you are going through a difficult time, have been given a horrible diagnosis, are in a relationship that is failing, whatever the hardship may be, be careful where you get your advice. Just because someone is a pastor, or a doctor, or a lawyer or a teacher or a parent or a friend or a bartender doesn’t mean they have the best advice, even though they are probably very willing to give it.

We can plot and plan and try to figure our way out of the situation which tends to lead to confusion and perhaps, a Bay of Pigs incident in our lives, where our best efforts only make the situation worse. Or we can learn to trust in the leading and the timing of God. How does God lead us?

Sometimes through His word – we could be reading along and all of a sudden a particular verse, even one we have read many times, just resonates within us and we know it is a fresh word from God for us.

Sometimes God uses other people, maybe through advice, but probably more through example or by inadvertently pointing us in a different direction.

Always, He leads us by His Holy Spirit, whispering in us, maybe sometimes shouting, nudging us, prompting us, bringing to our remembrance some scripture we read that applies to our situation now.

Always, He leads by peace. He is not the god of confusion and disorder, He is the God of order and peace and clarity. But we have to be still and listen.

Ask for His wisdom, His plan, His purposes and be willing to listen and wait for His answer.

Lord, I have certainly had many Bay of Pigs disasters in my life as I followed advice from well-meaning people but You have never led me wrong. You always lead me in paths that are right for me and I thank You for that. I am grateful that in the midst of the cacophony of voices that would tell me how to live and what to do that You whisper to me, “here is the path, walk in it”. You are the great Counselor and I thank You. Help me to still the noise in my head and listen for Your still, small voice, I ask in Your name, Jesus, Amen.

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