Having the spiritual gift of blab, I may or may not be known as someone who will talk with anyone, anywhere.
I love to strike up conversations with people I don’t know and learn their stories.
I’m curious. that way. I am forever a student in life, learning all I can from others. I meet some of the most interesting people. I’ve also had some great friendships or ministry connections come out of these random conversations.
Some people may view these as chance encounters, coincidences if you will. I don’t. I believe God has a plan for each and every one of our lives and as the minutes tick away on the clock, the plan unfolds [Jeremiah 29:11].
Ephesians 2:10 reminds us,
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I don’t believe the Lord has mapped out one way and one way only for our lives to go. We are not little robots moving this way then the next with Him at the controls. I fully believe we have free will. We can choose the path we go down. We can pick our turns, starts, and stops. However, He can and does orchestrate encounters with other people and circumstances.
God knows we can get discouraged from time to time when we feel like we’re going nowhere fast. He encourages us through others when we feel this way. I experienced it this weekend. I was a greeter at church. I stood at my post, speaking to people as they entered the doors heading into the worship center. A woman approached me and asked,
Are you Susan Norris?”
The thought did cross my mind, Do I say yes? I’m just being honest here. When I smiled and told her I was, she went on to tell me how she thought so because she had attended a training on sex trafficking where I was on the panel of experts. She shared how she worked in a school system in another part of Georgia and my name had come up multiple times as a resource to bring in to speak to students about trafficking. I was stunned. I don’t know a single person in that school system. I have no “in” there, but God does. Not only was this woman a reminder that God has me on a clear path, but He is also going before me, speaking on my behalf. He does the same for you!
Don’t think God has forgotten you or that you’re where you are in life by mistake. He knows you and He knows where He’s taking you, even if you don’t.
Matthew 10:29-32 says,
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.”
I don’t know about you, but I have thick hair. The thought that the Father knows exactly how many of them there are blows my mind. He and my hairdresser are the only two who know how many of those hairs are gray and how many aren’t. He knows when one falls out and when I feel like pulling them out. I can trust Him, and so can you.
One of the most beautiful Psalms ever is Psalm 139. It is all about how the Lord knows us intimately and always has. The Psalmist speaks of how He knows where we are, what we’re thinking, what we’re about to speak, and He’s got us. He’s got our front, our back and our sides.
Dr. Richard Halverson summed it up beautifully. He used to close every sermon he ever preached with the following,
You go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you. Wherever you are, God has put you there; He has a purpose in your being there. Christ who indwells you has something He wants to do through you where you are. Believe this and go in His grace and love and power.”
God is working in and through you no matter where you are in life. We fret and worry so much about what we’re doing. We compare ourselves to others trying to decide if we’re ahead or behind.
We should never use another’s life as our measuring stick, unless that other person is Jesus.
Where you are right now is just one instant in a lifetime full of instances. God is using it to shape you, to shape others, and to get you down the path He has prepared for you. Don’t allow an instant to stress you out and derail you from your destiny.
Take a deep breath and walk out Proverbs 3:5-6,
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
He has a plan for you. He knows where you’re going, and you can trust Him.