I’m writing from the Dominican Republic. I’m reminded of the first time I thought about this country. It was 1979 and Hurricane David had just killed 2000 people in the D.R. My school, Wheaton College, was taking a group to help in the cleanup. And boy was I disappointed when I didn’t get selected to go with them!
Something in me sensed that I needed to get overseas – that my destiny lay over there. The D.R. trip seemed like the perfect opportunity.
A couple of years later, Karen and I moved from Indonesia to the D.R. where we walked out the destiny that I’d sensed. We learned Spanish and lived as missionaries. The blue Caribbean waters that lapped its sandy shores became home to us in so many ways.
35 years later, I’m back, still working to show Dominicans that God loves them.
Getting to Destiny
God’s leading can be like that. Paul heads to Asia and a man from Macedonia appears in a dream beckoning him to come. So he takes a sharp left turn. Similarly, Karen and I started out in the East Indies and then went halfway around the world to live and work in the West Indies.
Here’s my point: We want to go in a straight line to our destiny, but that’s not the way it works. Detours and setbacks are a normal part of the process.
Paul said “I’ve learned the secret of being content whatever my circumstances are.” (Phil. 4:12)
Those are the words of one who had been blown off course a few times and in the process, learned to follow God’s still, small voice.
As Karen and I parented our five children, we often had the opportunity to coach them in how to respond to discouraging circumstances. Daily life threw tough issues their way.
And I’d ask them, “Have you learned the secret?”
They’d respond, “Yes, Dad,” and roll their eyes.
I’m still coaching people that way. We’re all tempted to look at our circumstances and calibrate our attitudes accordingly. But our circumstances don’t correlate to our destiny. The secret is to trust that God is good and he is guiding us as we seek him.
What are your circumstances?
Maybe you’re feeling under-appreciated at work.
Maybe you thought you should be married by now.
Maybe you’ve got health issues.
Maybe you feel like your dreams will never come true.
If so, God is still good. He still has plans for you. You still have a destiny.
I encourage you to practice living in the secret. The secret of being content no matter what.