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Of People, Circumstances and Timing

Emily was struggling. As she pursued graduate school admission, her GPA and GRE were not in her favor, and she was convincing herself that she would fail and miss the opportunity to pursue her dream. By the time she completed the application process, she had worked herself into an anxious state. One Sunday evening, Emily attended her church’s small group for the first time in months, and later opened her Bible and journaled her thoughts, also for the first time in months. The next morning, she received a text from a former lab partner with whom she had not been in contact for well over a year. He had been praying that morning and was moved to share with her with a very specific note of encouragement. “I don’t know if you’re a believer, and I’m sorry if this sounds weird to you,” he began, “but I had to tell you this was on my heart: As I was praying, I saw you and I knew I needed to connect with you to tell you God is here for you. He supports you in your goals, and you need to continue your pursuits, because that’s what God is calling you to do and you will be successful with it.”

We have been focusing on how we hear God, notably through His Word, through prayer, and that still, small voice of the Spirit. Yet God also speaks to us through people, circumstances, and timing. We sometimes call these, “God moments.” Is it just a random coincidence, for instance, that God steered Emily to fellowship and the Word one evening, and then within mere hours stirred her lab partner to step out in faith and affirm her for “pursuits” about which he knew nothing? I don’t think so, either. For the Sovereign God works through His creation to meet us at our need, whatever it may be. As Paul wrote to his young protégé Timothy, “be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”1 Then whether we are called to offer the same to others, as the lab partner did, or we are moved to receive it from others, as Emily did, we also do well to remain watchful and ready.

This is not to suggest we run to people for their answers to our challenges, nor do we run to others with every untested thought about them. Rather, “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.”2 This is what Emily’s lab partner spoke, and this is what Emily received, both operating in faith.

Father, in Your love You speak to us and through us. Humble us and quiet us, that hearing Your voice and discerning it from all others, we will be faithful to You today. In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 2 Timothy 4:2
2 1 Peter 4:11
3 Romans 1:5