Friday, June 2, 2017

Not a Surprise to God

photo credit: Josh Mckenzie 
"But then something happened! For even before I was born, God had chosen me to be his and called me—what kindness and grace—to reveal his Son within me so that I could go to the Gentiles and show them the Good News about Jesus." Galatians 1:15-16, TLB

These are the words of the well-known author of this letter to the church at Galatia, the Apostle Paul.   

Paul was born a son of a Pharisee. He was a Roman citizen and studied under a famous philosopher, Galilea.  In his own words, he described his life in those days this way: “I went after the Christians mercilessly, hunting them down and doing my best to get rid of them all.  I was one of the most religious Jews of my own age in the whole country and tried as hard as I possibly could to follow all the old, traditional rules of my religion”. (Galatians 1:13-14, TLB)  Then Jesus came (see Acts chapter 9) and in an instant, transformed his life. He subsequently became one of the most zealous Christian leaders of that time.

God had a mission for Paul. God planned for Paul to be the spearhead of the gospel before he was born. God knew what moment in Paul’s life he was going to show Himself to him, and in that moment Paul’s life was forever changed. He went from being a merciless Christian persecutor to being an outstanding evangelist and apologist to all, but especially the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Romans. From that time on, he ministered for Jesus until his martyrdom according to biblical scholars around AD 67.

Even before he was born, God chose him. It was Gods purpose and plan for his life.  While we have no idea why God allowed him to grow up hating and killing those he eventually came to minister to, God knew and planned it while he was still in his mother’s womb (see Jeremiah 1:15). Paul was destined for his life and particular time and place even before he was born.

Just as God knew what Paul’s life would be like, and how he was going to use his life, God has a specific plan for ALL our lives and of our children’s. Psalms 138:8 records, in part, The Lord will work out his plans for my life …for you made me.

God knew my son would be born with missing “exons” (muscle building proteins) in his DNA. He knew this even before Ryan was born. His diagnosis was not a surprise to God. He saw him, he knitted him together in my womb just the way he wanted him. Not only that but he has predestined a plan and a purpose for his life, just the way he is. I may not understand it but this much I know. His disease is not a mistake. It is God’s plan “A” for Ryan’s life.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
(Psalm 139:13-18, NLT)

Just as God knew what Paul’s life was going to be like before he was born, He also knew the specific things he had to experience in order to use him in the way He intended. 

I don’t know about you but I find comfort in knowing that God knew us before we were born! He planned our days and predestined them with a calling; a purpose that is being revealed in and through our lives. He is continuing to transform us through our trials and difficulties. None of what we go through is a surprise to God; none of it is without meaning and purpose. 

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that you knew us before we were born. Just as you formed us before we were born, you continue to transform us through the trials and difficulties we face. I pray that you will help us to continually look to you for strength to face each day. I pray that we will bow our hearts and will to yours. Knowing, that is where our comfort and peace comes from. In Jesus name, I pray,


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