“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”—-Isaiah 55:8-9.
God’s ways are certainly a mystery to me….
Five years ago I left a ministry position. At the time, I felt the Spirit encouraging me to leave, after seven years of long, hard, and rewarding ministry. As it turned out, it was a blessing that I quit, as I had a difficult road of medical issues to walk with my daughter immediately after that. I needed my full attention on that, and a job would have been a distraction.
Fast forward to now. A couple days ago the woman who took over my position five years ago was sharing a message with the high school graduates at church. She described how she looked for hope at a challenging time in her life five years ago, when she was in a job she didn’t like, and wasn’t going where she wanted in life. She dealt with hopelessness and depression, until a friend told her to look for another ministry job. She began to hope again. A few months later, the job search ended and she was called into my position.
I marvel how God used my leave-taking to answer someone else’s prayer. Someone else’s life was going to the dogs, and they had lost hope, but through encouragement of a friend, she found a new hope, a new job, and a new life. All because I left. If I had not left, God would not had brought her to that position. This job was an answer to her prayer, and gave her hope. The joy in her face as she described this hope she found, this new ministry that she has enjoyed the last five years, well, it got me thinking…..
We so impact others in so many ways, and we just don’t know it. God uses the little things, the big things, the mundane things, the circumstances of our lives, to impact the lives of others.
I would not have known the back story behind my successor’s life, but I heard it five years later. The pieces are sliding into place. Things are making a little more sense. God had a plan for her, and for me, and though we didn’t know it at the time, it was His perfect plan.
Look around your life… maybe you are impacting someone today and you don’t even know it. Maybe something you say or something you do is answering a prayer, lifting someone from despair, impacting them in a way you will never know. In fact, let’s count on it. God is using us and I was fortunate to hear the story five years later. Perhaps you will too!
Prayer–“Gracious God, I don’t always know how you are using me to impact others. But help me to trust that you are indeed doing something, even if I can’t see it. Your ways are not my ways, but I can trust that your ways are perfect. In Jesus’ Name. Amen”.