Day Three: Put Me in Place
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”—Proverbs 16:9
Don’t you love those “God moments” in life? When I get talking to a group of friends, the best conversations are always the ones with end with the phrase, “It’s a God thing!” Here’s one of my favorites:
When my kids were tiny, it seemed we were always struggling financially, but we were thankful that my oldest child was privileged to attend a Christian school in town. Every morning, my husband would take her to school. In the afternoon, I would wake up the littles from nap, make sure the older ones had shoes, grab the diaper bag, and get everyone buckled into infant car seats and boosters in time for the after school pickup line. Every day.
One day, I started this process much earlier so that I could stop at my husband’s barber shop, pick up the last few dollars needed to pay our electric bill (on the last day of the grace period), then get my daughter from school. Ordinary day, right? So ordinary that I had to resist that feeling of monotony. Has anyone else been there? That season of “Do the Next Thing” where we just keep working, no matter what.
I just remember praying the same prayers throughout the week during that season—in a good way. Doing the dishes and taking down “laundry mountain”, changing diapers and putting kids to bed; I would spend time talking to God. “God, I know You see me. I know You’re here with me,” I would say when the day was long and my hands and feet were tired. Often, I would ask God one thing, “Make me a blessing to someone today.”
On this particular day, I was on time and even early—leaving my husband’s barber shop, I rounded the corner and calculated that I might have enough time to pay my bill before pickup at school. It was a hot day, and the windows were down. The kids were talking in the backseat, and the Christian radio was blaring through the big, white, Ford Explorer. We neared a set of railroad tracks, and I saw another mama with the same number of kids that I had—except they had no vehicle. She pushed a stroller holding one child, held another child’s hand as they walked, and one baby was set on her hip. Instantly, my heart went out to this mom, and as I drove closer I realized that I knew her.
“Jasminka! Girl, what are you doing?!” I exclaimed to my friend. Looking up, she smiled, and I motioned her to the side where I could pull into a parking area and pick her up. This woman was originally a refugee from Bosnia whom God had placed into our lives in that season. She came to know Christ through my mother-in-law, immediately she became like an extra member of our family, our church committed to partner with her–putting her oldest child in Christian school, and it just so happened that we lived in the same neighborhood. There was no question in my mind. God had put me in place that day! Safely parked, I got out and helped her to buckle her kids into my SUV. There were just enough seats for all of us, and she climbed into the front seat.
“I pray!” she said to me. “We go to my appointment downtown, and we walking. I pray, God please help me. I take the children, you know. I walk, and I pray God help me get home.”
I looked in my rearview mirror at all the little children of variegated colors happily chattering in the back seat, and it made my heart happy. Driving back over the railroad tracks, and retracing our path towards home, I felt the love of God that day. Something as mundane as school pickup and paying a bill had turned into this God moment that I wouldn’t trade for the world. The timing was perfect–any earlier and I may not have seen my friend, any later and I may not have been able to help her that day. God really does see us, and He knows our exact days and times. He is able to use us for His purpose and plan. How amazing!
Today, let’s pray over God’s purpose in our lives. Thank God that He sees you, and He is able to put you in place to serve. Pray that God would make you a blessing to someone today and in the coming days. Thank God that His timing is perfect, and He has already planned the purpose woven into this mission trip. For each home where someone is serving, for the church collectively throughout the process, and for each casita and mission house—God is in control. Praise Him for His goodness, and rejoice with Him for His purpose today.
Now let’s say together:
“Dear Lord, I pray that You would prepare my heart to serve. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I delight in Your Word, and Your perfect love casts out fear. Put me in place to be part of Your perfect plan…”