Two encounters with God

On Monday night God put two people in my path at Celebrate Recovery.  These were not chance encounter's, or circumstances of fate, God's hand was directly involved with both.  Not that I can really explain the concept other than you know, deep in your heart, that right here, right now, is where God has placed you.

We'll call the first man Chuck, not his real name.  Chuck is where I was when I first moved to Tyler, starting a new life.  Where I became involved with a ministry, he has too, a ministry for recovering addicts.  Trying to fit into the new environment and the struggles that are involved with such, I had the pleasure of leading the newcomer's that night and he was one of the men.  I can tell the addicts who've walked the path I have.  We are quiet, looking around, keeping to ourselves, trying to get the "lay of the land".  Chuck listened to me as I stepped through the scripts and the group and we talked afterwards.  And I began sharing his story.  Oh, it was mine, but I saw the first glimmer in his eyes of hope, someone who understands.  As I began to share what he was going through, the first smile came.  "Exactly" Chuck said.  I told him I hoped he came back and I'd be praying for him.  Well he came back, and I went to greet him.  Chuck got a big smile on his face, gave me a big hug and said he had felt my prayers.  You see, Chuck didn't feel alone.  Out in the vast universe of billions of people, God had put a person who had walked a path similar to his in his path.  So then we get to this week and Chuck is talking about the ministry, his struggles, and decisions coming up.  And the Lord speaks.  Honestly, it's not me, it's God.  Because as I spoke, he kept saying over and over I was confirming things God was telling him.  Not only that, but I began speaking things that he was feeling in his heart, things I'd experienced, and things that at that time God pulled into my mind to share.  I'm not foolish enough to think that all that came from me, that I'm some great counselor.  I'm a vessel, and God uses vessels that are willing.
God is the Great Counselor.  I'm a big believer in being a humble servant.  Trust me, my pride is a monster and it can ravage my life if I let it.  To God be the glory, I just love watching as God does His thing. 

So the second man, we'll call him George.  Where do I get these names?  Anyway, George is at the ministry I was formerly at.  He has begun coming to CR each Monday and he is getting a lot of flack over the issue.  Welcome to my world, I said.  He was there when I was, I was there first and I watched him grow and he watched me grow.  He said people were talking about him, questioning his choices as he follows the path that God has laid before him and it is hard.  We talked a bit and then, in love, something pops into my head (from the Lord, all God here) and I said, you've got to break your dependence upon the ministry and place your dependence on God.  He looked at me, a smile comes to his face, and he says, thank you for the truth brother.  Yes, true friends tell you things you may not want to hear, but tell you things in love.  I eleborated with him though.  It was a lesson that I had to be taught as well because I was dependent on them to.  If I'd of had my way, because I was comfortable, I'd of stayed a lot longer out of dependence because I was scared of the unknown.  Yep, me.  I mean, I had a place to stay, I was safe, and I was miserable because my beliefs were constantly questioned and my choice of ministries to participate in (CR) was questioned constantly. 

Well, I was able to tell George about what God has done since I left.  My God loving wife, our beautiful apartment,  the $1 car I first got, then the $1200 one I have now, the job, our church, our ministry.  All of these, all of them were from God and He placed those people and things in my life, in His time and made sure I knew they were from Him, that I didn't magically do something to get them.  My miracles I call them.  All of this because I place my dependence upon God and trust that He will provide.  Do I get everything I want?  Thankfully not.  God knows best. 

Two places in my life I got a glimpse, a checkup if you will, of how far God has brought me.  It was awe inspiring to see how God had worked in my life.  From the beginning of my journey in Tyler and then the beginning of my journey into the great unknown.  It brought such a thankfulness to my heart for what God has done for me, but also to see others and how God has them on their journey and I get to witness it.  God is awesome.  I'm not sure who got more out of our encounters, them or me.  God spoke to them, this I believe, but He also spoke to me, I've got you, your in My Hands and I'll continue to walk with you and care for you as you depend on Me and trust in Me.  Can you think of a safer place to be than in God's hands....


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