This has been the story of my rescue and my life, a testimony to the truth that God does care about the tiniest of his creatures. I’m reminded of the Old Testament passage in Ezekiel 16:4-6 where the Lord speaks of his love for Jerusalem.
“As for your Nativity, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, neither were you washed in water. . . . you were not swaddled at all. No eye pitied you . . . to have compassion upon you, but you were cast in an open field . . . on the day you were born. And when I passed by you and saw you were polluted in your own blood, I said unto you, ‘Live.’”
Because I was rejected by my biological mother from birth and starved by my foster mother for months, I identify with the verse above. What a tragedy it would have been if the story had ended there. But God isn’t a God of failure, and he can take the most broken lives and put them back together again, even after a disastrous start.
Did God come into my life at the moment I asked him to at that Campus Crusade meeting? Oh, yes, he certainly did. But long before I was even aware of his presence, he was taking care of me. The provision of Frazier and Smiley McMillin to nurture, love, and care for me could only have come from a loving Father who refused to give up on a child he created. Despite human sin and frailty, he looked beyond the circumstances and planned a life for me beyond my wildest expectations.
Just as my story has its own unusual twists and turns, yours is unique in its telling, too. Perhaps you’ve had pain and scars, setbacks and failures. That never deters the God who’s in the business of giving life and health and joy to his children.
I realize that the idea of God taking an intimate interest in one’s business is a radical one. Certainly, as an ambitious young college student, the thought never occurred to me. But as you can see, I’ve had one surprise after another in that arena. I used to think that people who were serving God were “in the ministry.” True as that may be, what would life be like if we were all “in the ministry”? Where would we find musicians who lift our hearts with soaring symphonies, doctors who alleviate our suffering with their healing skills, farmers who provide nutritious food for us, or homemakers who nurture little ones with everlasting values as well as warm chocolate-chip cookies straight from the oven? Just as God shows us his delight in the variety of flowers, trees, climates, and personalities, he wants to show us that he is involved with us at every level, including all of our vocations.
Through the experiences that I’ve related, my main concern has been that the reader grasp the idea that God wants to be intimately involved in our lives, no matter what we do. Be it home, family, vacation, or vocation, he desires to be engaged in the ups and downs, highs and lows of all that we do. He loves us more than we can imagine, and with that love comes a bag of surprises he’s just waiting to open, if only we’ll ask.
God delights in doing for you what you can’t pull off yourself. He is the author and finisher of your faith, and he will perfect whatever concerns you. He has called you, and he will also do it. However, you must put feet to your faith. You must put work to his words.
Ask him what to pray for; be still and listen. Then pray for that thing and look for it to happen. Ask what your part might be in cooperating with him. Sometimes it’s just to be patient and trust; other times it’s to roll up your sleeves and work like a beaver, believing that he will complete the part that you can’t control. There will be times when he will nudge you to make a phone call, go to a particular meeting, or speak to a key person. Do it, and see where this “partnership” takes you.
The bottom line isn’t a successful business or other enterprise. The bottom line is a relationship with our living God, the one who made us and wants more than anything else to enjoy a loving relationship with us. I was once an “unwanted child” in this world, seemingly abandoned and rejected, and I have experienced the greatest love in the universe. If my business were to fail tomorrow, I’d still have everlasting success, the joy of being at peace with my Creator.
“I have caused you to multiply as a bird of the field, and you have increased and gotten great, and you have become an excellent ornament. . . . Now when I pass by you I looked upon you, and behold, a time of love . . . and I entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord, and you became mine.”
—Ezekiel 16: 7-9