The Bible is full of stories about seemingly incredible, faith-filled people of God. We read how God used them to achieve great things and often how through one person many people came to know God. It is tempting to read these stories and think, “Wow, how great is Joseph! In spite of all that happened to him he was able to see it was part of God’s plan!,” or “I wish I had as much faith as Abraham,” or “If only I was to be able to speak about Jesus as well as Paul did!” These people and what they did seem so distant and different than me. BUT…
This past summer, I went on a Serve Asia mission trip to help at the Orientation Course in Singapore for new OMF missionaries. The main focus of my time there was to work in the KidZone with the children about to move to East Asia with their families. As part of our time together, we looked at Abraham, Joseph and Moses and how God used them in their various situations. We hoped the children wold take away three things from our time looking at God’s word:
1. God always keeps his promises – Philippians 1:6
2. God always has a plan – Hebrews 13:20-21, Proverbs 3:5-6
3. God loves his people – Deuteronomy 7:9
These takeaways bring me back to that “BUT” statement earlier. In our very last session with the children, we looked at the similarities and differences between these three Bible characters and then looked at the similarities and differences between them and us. Ultimately, we found there is no difference between the people God has used in the past and us, the people he wants to use today. So, while it may be unlikely that we’ll be thrown into prison and then become a king’s advisor, or that God will speak to us through a bush that is on fire, God does still talk to us through people, prayer and ultimately scripture. God asks us to do the exactly the same kinds of things that he asked Abraham, Joseph and Moses to do: have faith, listen and do (or, obey)!
This is sometimes easier to write about than to do myself, but if I try and remember that God always keeps his promises, always has a plan, and loves his people, then it seems much more manageable.