If you could map out your life, would it be a carefree life, no speedbumps? OF COURSE, IT WOULD BE!
But, only God can plan a life without circumstances. My mother would say America is a step away from heaven. (Perspective, huh?). Only God, in His providence, allows them to remain.
Paul was preaching, planting churches, and encouraging believers…good stuff, yes? Then dreaded circumstances. False accusations in Jerusalem, appeal to Caesar, rough sea voyage, shipwrecked, Roman prison, ends up chained to two Roman guards 24/7, and that is just the beginning of it.
Paul writes in Philippians 1:12 “My circumstances have turned out for furtherance of the Gospel.”
WHO THINKS THAT WAY?
If I could have mapped out our retirement plan it would have included mission, travel and maybe some place warm, good stuff, huh? God had other plans. Michele had 5 surgeries in 3 years, and my own hip surgery. My favorite verse is Ephesians 2:4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.” God wants us to be included in His glory by doing His work.
Now back to our circumstances. Nurses would take their breaks in Michele’s hospital room. Rehab workers would see our faith in action, and an MOI worker said this is not a rehab place, it is a church. She was an agnostic and liked it.
We are helping our grandkids navigate through life, working and even starting their own businesses, telling my faith stories and life stories to online e-learning. I was interviewed by my granddaughter the other night of my faith journey. All that I heard from her, was that is cool, sweet, or I didn’t know that!
Thank you, Lord, that it was sweet.
Yes, circumstances help me write my Blogs for people to read.
Conditions around us will change, but if we belong to Christ, “He will work all things together for good.” Just like Paul said, that “Christ would be exalted in us through life or death.”
Bill Badal is Pastor Emeritus at First Baptist. He was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, and moved to the United States as a teenager.