God’s providence. We know that God is sovereign and has a plan for all things. We know he is all-knowing, ever-present, and all-powerful. All too often (at least for me) I can lose sight of the fact that his providence is also personal to each one of us. It is not just an over arching big thing (even though it is that too!). It applies to each of us individually.
Let me tell you a story to illustrate what I mean.
In 1989 a young Christian man from India was given the opportunity to visit America. On the student visa he had, he came to Minnesota to study for a year at a bible college. After that year, he returned to India and the mission he was working for, and would soon begin the process of beginning his own mission ministry in India.
One of his professors eventually left the Bible college and became a pastor of a church in western Iowa. He had developed a friendship with the young Indian Christian during their time at the Bible college and remained in contact with him. This would eventually lead to his church helping to support the new ministry in India.
Sometime in the first decade of the 2000’s a gentleman who attended this western Iowa church with his family decided to go on a short term mission trip to visit the Indian ministry and developed a heart for the work going on there. He would later move to eastern Iowa where he joined a new church, but still had a heart for India. He shared his experience and the things he saw with this new church and eventually in 2012 he would return to India along with another brother from the new church.
Shortly after their return from this trip, due to extenuating circumstances, these two men left their church and planted a new church in a nearby town. They both now carried a love for India and the Indian ministry that the man had started several years prior.
2014 rolls around. A man and his wife begin attending this newly planted church. At the time that the Indian man had been in the U.S., the wife was a senior in high school and the husband had been serving overseas in the military. They didn’t even know the other person existed in 1989, and both were far from God in their hearts and minds. At the time they started attending the new church, they were both Christians, but their marriage was in a very broken place. In the beginning of 2015, the pastor of the church (who had previously been to India) decided to return. The man who had been there twice before, though he had moved to another state, decided to return too along with a few others. One of those men was the husband mentioned above. His wife was not happy about the decision and had no interest in ever going on missions.
Now fast forward to 2017.
That young Indian man was Babu Samuel. God plucked him specifically from a nation of over 1 billion people and brought him to the U.S. where this ball would begin rolling. The husband and wife just so happen to be Freddie and me. We are now finishing up our month long trip to India – our second visit this year.
God knows our name. He has counted every hair on our heads. He predestined us before creation for adoption. He created us in Christ Jesus for good works which he has prepared beforehand.
God knows you. He knows everything about you. He is at work in all circumstances and challenges that you face. He has a plan and that plan is perfect and for his glory. It’s an easy thing to say – but it is a hard thing to remember when things don’t make sense or we are in the midst of suffering. But God saves us for a purpose, and he works in us for a purpose. And that should be what we cling to when nothing else makes sense.
Four years ago our marriage was broken and the thought of working side by side in ministry, much less a global focused ministry, would have been inconceivable. But that is why God is God and we are not. His ways are not our ways – and we should be so grateful for that. Nothing is too big for God to accomplish.