Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hand Picked & Placed On My Road

Okay.   I'm visual.

If I visualize my life as a road, I see it as a dirt road out in the country.   Just like the one above.

Life is a journey, right?

Some of you may see your life as:
- a busy six lane interstate highway.
- or a winding steep road that requires guard rails in each bend.
- or a narrow hiking trail through the woods.

Me?  I'm a dirt road in the country.

I've been thinking about this concept a lot in recent years.

More and more, I see evidence that Jesus hand picks and specifically places people in my life -- to impact or influence me at just the right time - along my road.

Have you ever thought about it that way?

It's happened to me, time and time again.    

Like the pastor on staff at my church who was responsible for organizing the first mission trip I took to Africa.  Without his obedience and involvement, I might never have had the opportunity to go to Kenya in the first place.  Africa's had a huge influence in my life.  One man's efforts - and a few more years down my road, I'm going on fourth mission trip to Kenya.

Like the doctor that paid close attention to some very broad symptoms as my cancer was being
discovered.  Without her persistence and intuition, it might have gone undiscovered for several more
years down my road.  The outcome for me could have been much different.

Or like the woman who saw something in me and gave me a job at a non-profit when I was fresh out of college. I went on to spend the bulk of my career there.

Jesus doesn't just work in the BIG encounters along my road.   He also places people in my life in smaller, more intimate ways:

He paired me with a roommate on a mission trip had struggled with the same issues my own family was facing.  Through our conversations on the trip, she gave me very personal insights and encouragement that only someone with her background could have provided.   She was placed on along my road.

Or the time a real "kindred spirit" friendship developed in my life with someone I probably would have never met without Jesus placing her directly on my road.

Or the many times He speaks directly to a situation I'm facing when I spend time in His word.  He
always uses His word to influence my life - on my road if I'm paying attention.

Conversations.    Influences.    People.

One of the most undeniable ways that He's impacted me has been relationally.    We all have "relational  voids" in our life -  caused by family or friends or just people that weren't there for us -- by choice or by circumstance.

Don't miss this.   I've even seen Him bring people into my life to stand in the gap of my relational voids -- and speak or say things over me that I badly needed to hear.   I call it relational surrogates - just a sweet gift of people that I believe were hand picked and specifically placed in my life - along my road.

That is just so cool.     A God that cares enough for me to arrange those kind of influences.  Conversations.   Encounters.     Encouragements.  People.

You can't convince me it's only a coincidence or fate.

Here's what has challenged me.  

How available or how willing am I -- to be used by God in someone else's life - along someone else's road?

Am I only concerned about who will be provided for me?

Or am I
listening and alert
to how Jesus would lead or prompt me  -- so that I might offer a conversation, an encouragement or an influence in someone else's life?

someone that might be on their six lane interstate
or their winding steep road with the guard rails in the curves
or their narrow hiking path in the woods?

How available am I?    

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