Visiting jailHave you ever found yourself somewhere and wondered, How on earth did I end up here?” It happens more frequently than you think.  Sadly, many times poor choices or circumstances  lead people to ask that question. They end up making friends with the wrong kind of person and find themselves in front of a police officer. Or they cross a line that seemed blurry at the time and find themselves fired or a relationship on the rocks. However, there are also times when we make wise choices, follow the voice of God, take a leap of faith and still find ourselves asking the same question.

Don’t you think that thought passed through David’s mind as he stared up at Goliath [1 Samuel 17:23-54]. What about Daniel as he felt the hot breath of the pack of lions who were looking at him like a toddler looks at chicken nuggets [Daniel 6:8-23]. And then there’s Mary, who heard she was going to be pregnant and give birth to the Son of God [Luke 1:26-38]. It’s not like that was a common thing back in the day. In fact, it was reason enough for her to be divorced at the very least and possibly even stoned to death, yet she hadn’t done anything wrong.

Last night, I found myself driving to the county jail to wait my turn to talk with an inmate. This wasn’t some form of prison ministry. The face on the other side of the camera was a familiar one, one I’ve known for years. It was a young girl who went to school with my children yet, due to poor choices, bad circumstances and the evil of this world, she found herself behind bars facing prostitution charges. As we sat there talking while the clock counted down the minutes we had remaining, I found myself thinking,

I bet we’re both thinking the same thing… ‘How on earth did I end up here?'”

We all find ourselves asking that question in life at some point, some more frequently than others. There are strong believers in this world who have listened to the Lord, taken a leap of faith and have landed in a jail cell. Think about Peter [Acts 4:1-21].

There are many of us who find ourselves places we don’t want to be yet we feel confident we were following God’s direction.

We need to recognize, like David, Daniel, Mary and many others, God may take us down some unlikely route to get us where He wants us to be, but we can trust Him.  He is faithful and He will not leave us nor forsake us [Deuteronomy 31:6, 8, and Joshua 1:9]. And even if the reason behind our unlikely circumstances is due to our own doing and not that of the Lord, He can work it out for good, if we will trust Him and call out to Him [Romans 8:28].

Where have you found yourself lately? Are the circumstances less than favorable? Take a moment and ask Jesus to show you why you’re there. Then ask Him to show you where He is in the situation. He will lead you through to the other side, if you ask Him. The ball is in your court.