I realized this weekend during a reunion with an old friend that God cares so much more for people than I do. I believe, as Oswald Chambers writes, “that we must take as from God the haphazard arrangements of our lives. If we accept the Lord Jesus Christ and the domination of His lordship, we also accept that nothing happens by chance, because we know that God orders and engineers circumstances.”
How little time I give the Lord to reveal to me what He is accomplishing through the haphazard arrangements of my life! I assume the He has merely a passing interest in a person who crosses my path for a time, then leaves. Why do I assume He is not working in a person’s life simply because I am not part of that work? God knows the intimate details of every human heart; every chance encounter we have with those who do not know Him is also orchestrated and engineered by the One who holds the future in His hands.
I realize that I give up on people too soon. I wrap up and move on, thinking my work is done, and I have no inkling of the marvelous tapestry of circumstances He is weaving to bring glory to Himself and more souls to Himself. Perhaps it’s because I am finite, trying to understand the ways of an infinite God.
Three years seems like a long time to me. But most of us know that three years is only a heartbeat; it is enough time for God to turn your world upside down and inside out, strip you of everything you used to hold onto for security and enough time to shake you out of your old life and make you choose a totally new one. It is also an eternity of sitting patiently (or in my case, impatiently) in the garden while the Lord goes and does His work without you.
The point is that time is irrelevant to God. He accomplishes His work at His leisure. He cares infinitely more about the daily comings and goings of my friends than I do. He has unlimited time, resources, and emotional commitment to the personal drama in each of our lives. And He doesn’t give up or move on with any of us. He is constantly at work, trying to show us how much He loves us.
So while I may say I need to move on, let go, break free from a situation because it’s too complicated, whatever, God knows what’s going on. He knows the real story. And He is always working in ways I can’t possibly fathom. The biggest way that I fail those estranged friends who seem like lost causes is by giving up on them, ceasing to pray for them, and forgetting that the Great Shepherd has His watchful eye on them. My Shepherd, My Friend—what comfort that brings me!