Nothing—not foreign invasions, persecutions, not the challenges of today or the uncertainties of tomorrow can thwart God’s plans. Our life-giving, faithful Father is always at work, consistently and persistently guiding and protecting the lives of those He loves and all that concerns us.
Sometimes I lose sight of just how awe-inspiring the gospel truly is and how many pieces fell into place, from the moment mankind first sinned, in order for God’s redemptive plan to unfold. But then He allows something to occur, a life-parable if you will, that reminds me afresh of just how brilliant, how loving and strategic, my Father truly is.
Have you ever paused to consider where you are now and all the steps involved to get you there? All the seemingly random turns or delays that, evaluated later, proved hugely consequential? Of a particular God-moment only He could orchestrate that you come to realize, upon reflection, He’d set into motion years, maybe even decades prior? Remembering these situations helps us rest knowing our world and our lives, as chaotic as they might sometimes appear, are held secure in our loving, faithful and attentive Father’s hands.
Ten years ago, my husband initiated a conversation that broke my heart and triggered fear, for many reasons. His company had offered a job in Omaha, Nebraska, a position he wanted to take.
This meant we would have to move, which meant uprooting my daughter during a really challenging period socially. She was a Freshman in high school at the time and had developed strong community ties and deep friendships with those types of teens you pray your children will connect with. Relationships cultivated and deepened for years, once in a lifetime friendships, in fact.
“Please don’t make me move,” she begged, with tears coursing down her cheeks. My mama’s heart so wanted to concede. In fact, I tried to change my husband’s mind, again and again.
When that didn’t work, I contemplated numerous solutions, and none of them good. Maybe he could get an apartment and visit us on weekends. Or maybe we could move in with friends and visit him? I’m certain, had my husband agreed to either option, our marriage, our family, would’ve slowly eroded. And in choosing what was easiest in the moment, we would’ve forfeited the beauty that lay ahead.
God saw what we couldn’t—a teenager whose kidney was failing, a desperate mother praying for help, and how God was guiding my husband step by step, conversation by conversation, to fill that need. In June of 2015, almost exactly four years later, my husband donated a kidney to a stranger—a kid he didn’t meet until a week before surgery.
As I reflect on all God did to bring that young man and my husband together, ultimately, all God did to save that young man’s life, I’m reminded afresh of the glorious, unconquerable plans of God. His love truly does know no bounds, and His arm always has the power to save.
I was struck afresh by this truth when I read about the night Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, fled with his family into Egypt. Scripture recounts this terrifying moment in Matthew 2:13-18, but to put it simply, when Herod the king of Judah, learned of Christ’s birth, he became “deeply disturbed” (Matthew 2:3, NLT). Verse 4 tells us he asked the religious leaders where the Messiah was supposed to be born, determined to kill the child. But God intervened.
Verse 13 tells us “an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up and flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,’ the angel said. ‘Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child and kill him’” (V. 13, NLT). Joseph obeyed, escaping with his young and likely terrified wife and newborn child.*
But I wonder, did he and Mary wrestle with the same emotions my husband and I did, when we moved to Omaha? Had they become settled in Bethlehem or thought about all they might do, all the people they might see, once they returned with Jesus to their home in Galilee? In a moment, their plans were changed, but for such a good, hope-filled reason. Through their rescue, God was orchestrating His rescue plan for you and I as well.
And in this, I’m reminded once again, His plans will never fail and my salvation is sure.
When difficulties come, may we remember those truths, knowing no matter what we face, God is greater still, and His arm is never too short to save nor His ears too dull to hear. He is with us and for us, always, and as Scripture proclaims, in Christ every promise is yes and amen.
Let’s talk about this! Are you or a loved one facing what feels like an insurmountable problem? Do you feel vulnerable and unprotected? How does remembering God’s sovereign love, revealed throughout Scripture, help grow your faith and starve your fears?
*We don’t know how old Jesus was at this time. Based on the fact that Herod ordered soldiers to kill all the males aged two and under, scholars state Jesus was likely in that same age range.
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