Have you sometimes felt you don’t know where your place is in God’s plans? Have you thought, ‘Does He even see me?’, ‘Does He really care about my life?’ I think we all have those ‘pity-party’ days where we feel overlooked or think everyone else has been gifted by God to do amazing things for Him while we can’t even keep our own lives on track.
I want to take you back to before I was even born and tell you a little about my family history. My maternal Grandmother was a 15-year-old Jew in Vienna when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. Only a day later, the Viennese Jews began to be harassed. Homes and shops were plundered, synagogues and prayer houses destroyed and many were deported to Dachau. The others were moved into collective apartments, cramped and with very few of their belongings.
My Grandmother somehow knew things would not end well for the Jews that had not already fled the country and tried to persuade her mother and father to flee too. They didn’t agree and thought that at some point, those in charge would see sense and things would go back to how they were. My grandmother was on a bus one day going past the British Embassy and looked through the window to see a table with British telephone directories on it. She got off the bus, went into the embassy and tore a page out of one of the London directories.
Sometime later, and none of the family know how, she left her mother, father and sister in Vienna and travelled to England, just fifteen-years-old and alone. She arrived at a London train station, took out her telephone directory page and began to ring the numbers listed. Eventually, someone from a farm on the outskirts of London agreed to pick her up and that is where she stayed, working to earn her keep.
She corresponded with her parents and sister for a time until they no longer replied. Later she found out they had all been taken to a concentration camp and killed.
I often think about that fifteen-year-old girl who left her family and ventured to another country because she knew something bad was going to happen. What gave her that foresight and strength, or should I say ‘who?’
I believe God’s hand was on her life and I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be here today had it not been for that foresight and strength as she too would have been killed. I believe God had His hand upon my life before I was even conceived, not because I am anybody special, but because, like you, He chose me before the foundation of the World (Ephesians 1:4). Before He formed me in the womb, He knew me (Jeremiah 1:5), all the days ordained for me were written in His book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139: 16).
Any one of you can look back at your family history and see God’s hand moving throughout time to ensure your birth. Any number of tiny incidents along the way could have happened to prevent your existence and yet here you are, reading this blog. You are part of God’s plan
Jeremiah 29: 11 says, ‘”For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”’. We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2: 10).
God already prepared the work He has for us to do. We have a purpose that is ordained by God. I find that comforting. Not only am I chosen and known by God but He has a purpose for my life. I don’t need to worry whether other people are better gifted than me or seem to have their lives all worked out, the purpose God has for my life was created just for me, by God. Even if it is only to bring one soul to the Kingdom, that purpose is perfect. And even if I stumble and get things wrong, ‘many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand’ (Proverbs 19:21).
I am thankful for the strength and courage of my Grandmother, but most of all, I am thankful that God was guiding her actions so that His plan would continue to unfold.
Like me, you are here because you are part of God’s plan. If you haven’t already, ask Him what his purpose is for you today.