Does God have a plan for you? Of course He does. But more often than not it’s something we can get really wound up about. What am I going to do with my life? I’m a rubbish Christian – is God really going to use me? Does He even care?
Life can throw us some pretty rubbish times. Stuff can happen to us – or be done to us – that we have no handle on. It can make us give up on God’s plan. But, we need to trust. God does have a purpose for each of us, no matter who we are or where we find ourselves.
Rebecca is a doctor and the leader of a small church from Indonesia. She also started a Sunday school and after-school club for a bunch of street children in her village. As the project grew, Islamic fundamentalists became furious that Christians were gaining a presence in the area. Rebecca was arrested for speaking about Jesus. She was sent to a notorious prison for five years.
The prison was a scary place. The other women were jihadists, terrorists or murderers. Prison officers would only go into the block wearing full riot gear. The walls of the cells were covered in excrement because the other inmates had become so dysfunctional.
In the first 24 hours there, Rebecca heard the voice of God speak to her. She called the prison guards and asked for buckets of water and disinfectant. She washed out and cleaned all the cells. Then she started to cook for these women, giving away her rations to serve them.
Image: Dr Rebecca serving those in her community…
The atmosphere in the prison changed. By the third week a prison guard came to Rebecca, knowing she was a doctor, and asked for her help. He had severe stomach cramps, so she wrote down the medicine he needed to get to make him better. By the end of the following month, around 40 prison officials were coming to Rebecca for professional medical advice.
At the end of the third month the prison supervisor invited her into his office. He said:
“I had heard that you were subversive, so I was going to break you. But you have been a blessing to the entire prison population. How would it be if your church came to prison on a Sunday? They will be safe here, we will take care of you. You can say whatever you want to your church when you are here.”
Isn’t that ridiculous? The place intended to silence Rebecca became a place where she could host a church and speak openly about Jesus – wow!
Rebecca was released two and a half years early. The week after she was set free from prison, she went back to disciple the 47 people who had become Christians during her time in jail.
We don’t know God’s plans for us, we don’t know where He will lead, but He asks us to step out and trust Him, no matter what we face or where we are. Even in the darkest situations, God can use us in amazing ways. He does have a plan.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don’t lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
Think and act:
1. Read the passage from Proverbs. This is one of Rebecca’s favourite verses. Memorise it, dwell on it, repeat it over and over in your head. Write it on your hand and let it sink into you today.
2. Rebecca called the experience she had in prison her ‘university of trust’. Have you gone through – or are you going through – a time when you feel God is stretching and challenging you? If so, how can you respond like Rebecca did?
3. Even in the bleakest situations, God can still use us to bring His light and life to the world. Commit to trust God no matter what you face and ask the Holy Spirit to help you step out and act when God speaks, just like Rebecca.
Father, Thank You for Rebecca and many like her who trust You no matter what they face. Be with them, bring them comfort, love, compassion, energy and belief to keep going. Holy Spirit, help me trust deep in my heart, knowing that no matter what I face, you will be there. Thank You for the freedom I have, but help me use it for good. Give me boldness to step out and act when I know you have spoken. Inspire my heart, my words and my actions to bring glory to you, and help me never limit what you can do because of my ‘own understanding’.
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