Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Since gradually becoming a little bit more mature in Christ (I still have a long ways to go to reach maturity), I have become very fond of Romans 8:28. I realize that God truly does cause everything to work together for the good of His kids who love Him and who are called for His purpose. Our pastor always says, “It’s rigged…for our good and God’s glory.” I must confess that I have borrowed his little catchy phrase more than a time or two over the past few years because it is very accurate.
I could sit here and list hundreds of examples of God causing everything to work together for my good and His glory, but I know you don’t have all day to read my ramblings. I will give you a specific example, however. A few years ago, I felt a tugging at my heart to go on a foreign mission. I had made a mental note to call our local Baptist association to find out when a trip would be coming up, but I kept putting that mental note on the bottom of the pile of notes that were sitting in the warehouse of my brain. Every few days, that thought would come back to the surface, and I would dwell on it for a brief period of time, but then, I’d tuck it away again. Out of sight, out of mind. This went on for a while. I had even spoken to my husband about this desire for missions that I kept thinking about. I thought about it a lot, but I didn’t act on it. Then, I arrived home from work after a hectic, crazy day. Jeff was offshore. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to feed all of our critters and our children when I received a call from a chiropractor friend of ours. She said that a medical group would be going to Iquitos, Peru, for a medical mission trip that summer, and they were in need of one more provider. She wanted me to pray and consider going with the group. I talked to Jeff who, as I said previously, was working offshore, and he immediately said, “sign us up.” So we prayed, and I signed us up, and that trip was a life changing event in my Christian walk.
God placed it on my heart that I needed to do a foreign mission. He may not have verbally told me that this was what He wanted me to do, but His Spirit nudged me…continually…repeatedly, preparing my mind, over and over again until I received that phone call. Not only that, we had actually received a nice bonus and tax return that particular year, and the cost of the trip, travel, airfare, food, and lodging was sitting right there in our bank account waiting to send us on a mission trip. It was almost like God said, “Get ready, girl. I’m fixing to do something big through you.” And I think I heard Him say, “It’s all rigged, girl. It’s rigged for your good and my glory!”
We signed up for the mission trip, got all of the necessary vaccines, and began preparing for the unknown. I’ve participated in local missions, but I didn’t know anything about foreign missions, not first hand at least. Did I mention that neither me nor my husband speak Spanish, and I was unsure of how we would even communicate with these people? There was a lot of fear within my husband and myself. There was fear of the unknown, fear of the language barrier, and fear of stepping outside of our comfort zone. Every single detail was worked out, from the preparing my mind before I even received the call to go, to covering the expense of the trip, to having interpreters assigned to translate for us, and wouldn’t you know it, God gave me a beautiful, sweet translator who became a very good friend. God worked out every single little detail.
I loved my time in Peru. My heart broke 500 times while I was there. My heart ached for the lost, the sick, and the poor. My eyes were opened to exactly how blessed we Americans are and how much we take for granted. I saw lives changed while there. Seeds were planted and harvested, but do you want to know something? I thought I was going to Peru to be a blessing to the people there, but it turned out that the joke was on me. I was the one who walked away with a humongous blessing. This trip opened my eyes and my heart for missions, not merely foreign missions, but all missions. I realized what a lost world we live in, and my heart was forever changed. I was no longer satisfied with my Christian walk on the sidelines. No, that trip put me in the game. Now, I can’t help but see my mission field in every aspect of my life…my job, my town, my state, and so on.
It is all rigged, my friend. God has this whole thing we call life rigged, and because He is God, He has it rigged for our good and His glory. If something keeps coming to the forefront of your thoughts, if there is a tender nudging from the Holy Spirit, listen up folks. Pay attention! God is most likely preparing you for something big, something good, something life changing, and something that will truly bring glory to Him. Yep, it’s rigged!