Right Where You Are Supposed to Be

“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,” – Acts 17:26-27 ESV

We don’t like to look at most situations in life and settle on the idea we are right where we are supposed to be. Quite the opposite, we are always on the move to the next thing. Ever persuing the station of life that draws us toward it. Further forward always marching.

But here we have one of the more famous sermons, or shall we say lectures, in the New Testament and Paul makes clear to the crowd in Athens that they are right were they are supposed to be. That God determines time and stations, situations and the flow of the calendar. All on purpose. A wonderful purpose.

You are where you are so that you will seek God. The circumstances you find yourself in, good and bad, hard and maybe even devastating are unfolding so that you will seek the One that seeks you. God so desires real relationship with you that he has set you up to feel your way toward him and find him.

He is to be found. In fact Jesus, the God-man came to seek and save the lost, that’s us, his seeking meets us in the midst of life, wherever you are. Right where you are supposed to be.

This is not only for those that might “find” God for the first time, but even for those that believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ – that his sacrifice in your place saves you for eternity. Each situation is an invitation to seek all the more, to keep pressing toward God, to keep learning and resting in him.

How will you face today? You are right where you are supposed to be. Seek Jesus.

Shalom

Christmas infiltrates the mess of human brokenness and hurt in order to unravel it, to bring healing and wholeness. This is the peace Christ brings, this is the peace Christ is.

As those that believe in Jesus, this is what we give our lives to, bringing the peace of Christ to every broken place. To every hurt. That there would be healing and wholeness.

How will you bring Shalom?

Another great “peace” of creative work from the Bible Project.

The Pain of Progress

This week our youngest had major surgery to reconstruct her hips. I have been saying that she is being given hips that won’t lie. That’s the hope anyway!

As she has been coming out of the anesthesia and working toward pain management and her normal personality, I am struck by the pain in her progress. Of course, she would prefer to never experience pain – and as her father, I wish she would never experience it either! But this pain, on purpose and intentional, is headed somewhere. It is bringing her to healing, functionality, better mobility and flourishing. These few days of major discomfort and the weeks of struggle ahead are all ushering something so much better.

I am stuck that our sanctification works much the same way. Our becoming more like Christ, slaying the dragon of self and living for Jesus’ purpose and glory. It is not easy and we could often categorize it as pain or suffering. But just like Adia’s recovery, this pain is part of the progress.

We run after too much that we assume is “pain” free and that never gets us to where we desire to be. On the flip side, we fight against purposeful discomfort because frankly, we are comfortable in our mess, our inability to flourish. Jesus means to end all that and bring you somewhere worthwhile. To the place your identity in him secures, promises, and provides.

Maybe we should lean into trusting his strength and process. After all, he is tremendously good and he loves you. I know it won’t be easy, but it will be good.

I am praying for you as you face the pain in the progress.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (ESV)

The Transformative Work of Time

Today marks the one year anniversary of Adia becoming part of our family. Twelve months ago we finally got to hold the baby we had been praying for and she was fully ours.

I vividly remember sweating as we waited in the children’s center’s main hall when one worker brought in this two-year-old with a shaved head and a fear of the unknown. This child was like a noodle, incapable of holding up her head, crawling or really sitting without assistance. Her skin was extremely fragile. Her little body so hungry and emaciated.

Eventually, we got her to eat. Eventually, her eyes began to brighten. Eventually, we made it home to Escondido, to brother and sister, to her family.

A lot has changed for Adia since August of 2016. One friend shared that when she met her in China she was afraid Adia wouldn’t survive. Instead, she has learned to thrive. She is strong, smart and determined. She has the flair of a three-year-old and a laugh that can brighten your day.

Of course, there have been hospital stays, scars, learning to crawl and tiring therapy. But the time has been transformative. One year on I can’t imagine what Adia’s life will be like in ten or twenty years, but if she keeps up at this clip there will be no holding her back!

As I am thankful today, our family day, I am also hopeful. It seems to me that Adia’s story is a story of faith and what time will do with love. For believers, it is the love of Christ that we experience and the time that he determines to transform us, to make us more like him.

Like the Apostle Paul, we too can say “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 (ESV).

Wherever you are today, trust in Christ’s love for you, and trust how he will use time to transform you.