"Our God is in the heavens; he does as he pleases."
As I’ve spent the past several years asking God to reveal more of His character to me, I would say the biggest things I have really learned to be true are that He is active and sovereign and good. He has woven all of our lives together on this earth purposefully. Our individual lives and our lives in relationship to one another. This has become more than just head-level knowledge to me. He has given me experiences of Himself that make these words have real heart-level meaning for me. I’d like to share with you just one recent example of how He has done this.
Earlier this month I spent 10 days traveling to Nigeria with an orthopedic surgical team that was on a mission to perform knee and hip replacement surgeries on over 30 Nigerians who desperately needed them. Myself and another physical therapist on the team were responsible for helping these patients regain their mobility immediately after surgery, as well as a laundry list of other responsibilities to manage their post-op care that, as therapists, we are not typically responsible for in the states. It was a long, exhausting, and hard week of 15 hour work days in 95 degree heat with unreliable electrical power (No lights in the OR? Operate by headlamp!), minimal air conditioning, and many other hiccups. But it was good, I learned a ton, and I saw God move in ways I was not expecting. My biggest take away was further proof that He knows what He is doing and it is much, much bigger than I am.
The patients who received joint replacements from us needed them badly. Many of them had not been able to walk more than 10 feet at a time due to excruciating pain and deformity. They could no longer work or provide for their families. One woman hadn’t walked in three years. She rarely left the house, and when she did her husband had to carry her. The area of Nigeria we were in is primarily Christian, and they all have incredible faith because they are forced to depend on God for everything. Their healthcare system is essentially nonexistent. All of these patients had been praying for a miracle. Our team got to be the answer to their years of prayer. Even the nonbelieving surgeons and nurses and anesthesiologists and scrub techs and medical sales reps on my team were being used to work a miracle in the eyes of these Nigerians, and they weren’t even aware of Who was orchestrating the entire thing. God was using them whether they knew it or not.
God is moving and working in us, and all around us, all the time. He actually orchestrated the simple fact that you are reading this blog right now.
Nothing is a mistake. He is in the big picture and He is in the details.
Every encounter you have with someone is on purpose. He is working something so much bigger than what we can see. He was working through primarily non-Christian American surgeons and medical staff to answer the prayers of His children in Nigeria, regardless of whether the people performing the actual work knew Him or worshipped Him or were even aware of the significance of what He orchestrated. He doesn’t NEED us to acknowledge Him for His work to be powerful. But I cannot even begin to describe to you the joy of knowing God in the midst of this, and the awareness of what He is doing in and through all of us.
To me, the greatest joy to be found in this life is when we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, aware of where He is moving and working in our world and our lives, and aware of His grace in allowing us to be a part of it. He is moving behind the scenes all the time. Ask Him to open your eyes to what He is already doing. It will bring Him so much glory when you acknowledge it and Him. This is our ultimate joy.