Romans 8: 28-29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
As a primary school chaplain, I work with all types of children. Some are academic, some are not. Some are social, others struggle to make and maintain friendships. Some want to be at school to learn, others, clearly do not.
Twelve-year-old David is an oddity. He has no friends, no interest in school, and is unable to read, write well or spell. He prefers it that way, and no amount of coaxing from chaplain, teacher or parents can foster a spark of interest in learning or engaging with his peers. David likes to game – a lot. The brief conversations I have had with him have been focused on what, I presumed, was his singular and only passion – computer games.
David and I spent one lunch break together doing an exercise to help him identify his strengths. It was a farce. David could not read the material we were working with, and his interest in the entire task soon waned. Trying to make a connection and build relationship with David was leaving me frustrated and David flustered. Clearly, our time together was not going well.
Then, in an instant, I felt the Holy Spirit instruct me to talk with David about Jesus. Desperate, I obeyed. David’s demeanor changed when I mentioned our Savior’s name. He knew about Jesus the Messiah and with enthusiasm told me stories about him from the New Testament. Was this the same young man, whom just moments ago, I had struggled to see put two sentences together?
David could not be stopped! He had watched a movie about Jesus, “The Passion of Christ” and now wanted to know more. God was drawing David to Himself and opening his heart to desire Jesus.
When David and I finished talking later on, I sat down and wept before the Lord. Humbled by this experience, God reminded me that He draws those who are the most unlikely and unlikable to Himself. (I thought of Zacchaeus the tax collector – not a very popular guy!) He calls those whom He claims as His own and we are but the simple (and often awkward) means God uses to bring about His plans. I may have thought I was the clever one sitting with David, but God is Sovereign and the One orchestrating the events of that time with David, accomplishing His purposes, not mine!
Isaiah 14:24 “ The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.
This experience is a reminder to us all that our wondrous God works all things together for good, for those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose. God is working together for a glorious end, people, circumstances and conditions as they are called by Him. And I truly believe that David has been called by His Heavenly Father.
God, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, uses us as the means (in such a variety of ways) to fulfill His ends – the saving of a soul from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. The conversation with David was all to the glory of God. God, not I, did a spectacular thing in David’s heart and God will continue to do so until David bows his heart before Jesus and surrenders his life to Him.
Who, but God alone, knows what He is doing in the hearts of men, women and children whom He has so graciously destined to be His disciples? Let us not give up on those we consider to be a ‘lost cause’, but offer ourselves obediently to be the means that could result in God granting them salvation. What a privilege that God would choose us in our weakness and with our flaws to do such a work!
Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
“Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing me to be the means to work with You by faithfully and lovingly sharing Jesus with those whom I meet. Sovereign Lord, help me to obey the Spirit’s leading and trust You with the outcome, knowing that their salvation belongs to You alone.”