On Sunday afternoon Betsy left our house to meet with our KidZone team. She had only been gone for a few minutes when she called me. “I just had to pull over to the side of the road,” she said. “It sounds like something is dragging underneath my van.”
I quickly threw my coat on and drove to meet her. Sure enough, as I pulled up behind her van I could see something hanging down. I laid down next to the van to look underneath and discovered that the band which holds up the gas tank was missing a bolt. I’m not a mechanic, but even I know that’s not a good thing!
I called a friend at church who’s got a lot of hands-on experience with cars. He said, “I’ll be right there.” He arrived quickly with a metal coat hanger, which he used to take the place of the missing bolt.
We turned around to head back to my house. Jeff was in front of me and had only driven about 150 feet when he jammed on his brakes, pulled to the side of the road, and leaped out of his car. I then watched as he ran across the road, bent down, and picked up the missing bolt!
When we got back to my house I said, “You must have the eye of an eagle to spot a rusty bolt on wet pavement.”
“No,” he said, “I just knew what to look for.”
In Genesis 45, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. Twice he tells them, “Don’t be afraid. God sent me here.”
“Wait a minute,” you might protest, “God sent him to Egypt?! I thought his brothers sold him as a slave. God put Joseph in the position as prime minister of Egypt?! I thought his special dream-interpreting skills did that.”
Joseph went from a prince in Jacob’s family, to a slave in Egypt, to comptroller of Potiphar’s affairs, to a falsely-accused rapist, to a prisoner, to a prison trustee, to a forgotten man, to Pharaoh’s dream interpreter, to Egypt’s prime minister.
Joseph knew what to look for along the way. He knew God had given him a direction for his life, so he was constantly looking for it.
Prayer does this for me, too. I may know verses like…
- I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
- Before I was born, God knew me.
- All things are working together for good for me because I love God and called me for a purpose.
- I should rejoice in my trials because God is developing something in me.
…but it’s only when I’m praying these verses that the Holy Spirit trains my eyes to know what to look for.
God was placing Joseph and preparing Joseph to be just where he needed to be, at just the right time, and with just the right skills.
God is doing something with me: He’s preparing me and placing me in His perfect timing to fulfill His perfect plan. When it seems my life has become derailed, I need to know what to look for. Prayer does this: Prayer trains my heart and my mind and my eyes to know what to look for.
I can also assuredly tell you that God is doing something with YOU: He’s preparing YOU and placing YOU in His perfect timing to fulfill His perfect plan. Prayer will help you know what to look for too.