Finding God in the Picture

While visiting my hometown several years ago my sisters and I decided to take a walk through downtown. An acquaintance who was also out walking met up with us at a corner of town. She asked if I’d be attending the funeral of a high school friend. I was shocked. I told her I had no idea my friend had passed.

The next day, as I walked away from my seat at the graveside, my friend’s sister rushed up to me and hugged me tightly. “I knew you’d be here,” she said. Strange; I hadn’t planned on attending a funeral when I left home to go visiting. But apparently God was working in the background and had planned it for me.

I’ve come to believe God has a way of finding us and taking us where we belong.

Several times in my journey with God, he reminds me how important it is to acknowledge him in the circumstances of my life. For me, it’s been a process of knowing his ways (as well as a small person can know the ways of a sovereign God) and recognizing his voice when he’s speaking.

Back when God orchestrated the events that took me to my friend’s funeral, I just shook it off; I didn’t think twice about how it happened. Now, I see a little more clearly how he works. It’s no coincidence that I happened to be out walking and saw that particular person. It was no coincidence that she was the older sister of my best friend from high school who had passed away a couple years earlier.

Sandy, my best friend, and this woman who was also now gone from our lives, had been part of a foursome of teens that was almost inseparable. As much as my friend’s sister needed me to be there for her, I needed to be present for my own sake.

God in his sovereignty cares for and works out all aspects of my life even if I don’t see that work immediately. He may be working in the background and through unlikely people.

Events happen in my life that tempt me to question God. But I know better than to do that. Even during those times, because I’m his child, I’ve learned from experience he is always as close to me as he’ll ever be.

I’m reminded of the book of Esther. God’s name is never mentioned, but his presence is certainly there in the citadel of Susa. If we know what to look for and if we’re really looking, we can’t miss him. He’s guiding, providing for and protecting his beloved people. The young Jewish woman who was born Hadassah, became queen and influenced the king in a way perhaps no one else could.

One might say the book of Esther is a story of God finding a young Jewish maiden and taking her where she belonged.

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