On a recent night, I was tossing and turning, not able to sleep. It was on a weekend when I experienced an oppressive spiritual attack. As if out of nowhere, I was fighting off feelings of fear, anxiety, worry and hopelessness. I had suffered such attacks before and each time I arrived at a place of peace, experiencing God's presence in an unusual way. On this night, I was praying my way through and I suddenly sensed that Jesus was speaking to my heart. (Those of you who don't believe will struggle with this and I'm comfortable with your skepticism.) He took me back to the time my mom almost miscarried when she was pregnant with me. "I protected you then," He said.
Then He reminded me of how ill I was as a tiny child. "I brought you through," He said gently. One by one, He brought to memory different times that my life was in danger. At least one was my own fault, but several times I was suddenly thrown into dangerous circumstances. Each time He said, "I protected you."
I suddenly realized that there were other times; times He protected me and kept me alive that I never knew about. He orchestrated events to keep me from danger that was coming, but, instead, never got there. As I felt amazed by His goodness, He again spoke to my heart. "I created you for what is coming. I protected You because I designed you for my purposes which must be lived out." In other words, the God of the Universe designed me for a purpose (He did the same for you!) and He has faithfully worked behind the scenes of my life to put me in the situations where that purpose can be realized.
Some consider it just silly that we might be part of some giant, cosmic plan. In their world, we create our own destiny, either for good or for evil. In that way of thinking, there is no God or he isn't really that interested in us personally. We carve out our own niche, we reap the rewards for doing a good job or we pay the penalty for not doing well.
"Odd," you might say, "that you are focusing on this subject at Christmas." But, it's not odd at all...when you discover what was happening in the invisible realm as the familiar characters were experiencing the first Christmas in the visible realm. Not odd at all! Find out more this weekend at Stone Ridge Church. Can't be there? Catch the podcast!