January 28, 2006

God Gets Us Where He Wants Us

Philippians 1:12-26

What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. Philippians 1:12


Recently I reached a milestone: my 70th birthday! It caused me to reflect on my life and ask myself some questions. How did I get where I am today? How did someone who grew up in a small town in Europe happen to marry someone born in California? Why did I have the privilege of preaching for almost 40 years? To some people, the answer is quite simple: we are where we are because of our choices. We choose where we live, whom we marry, and what we do with our lives. If we make good choices, things work out well, and if we make bad choices, things work out poorly. Some people might also say that Paul was in prison because of the choices he made. He could have refused to become a Christian; he could have turned down the challenge of becoming a missionary for Jesus. He could have been more careful and compromising. It seems that some of the early Christians even felt that Paul's being in prison was a mistake and was never meant to be. Paul responded by saying that it was God who put him there. God had Paul where he wanted him. Through his imprisonment Paul was able to bring the gospel message straight to the seat of government in Rome. Thank God that in spite of our good, bad, or even sinful choices, when all is said and done, the Lord always gets us where he wants us.

Thank you, Lord, that you make no mistakes and that you always get us where you want us. Help us to live wisely and look for your direction each day. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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