July 19, 2013
Things God Planned for Us
"Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare." Psalm 40:5 (NIV)
Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Bradford were my favorite sixth grade teachers. They knew two things about me: I was bilingual and I lived close to the largest shantytown in Bogotá, Colombia. I'll always remember the day these two teachers asked for my help.
In the early 60's, my family lived in Bogotá. Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Bradford taught in the American school I attended. Every day on their way to school, they passed the neighboring shantytown. Soon they developed a vision to educate the children living there, and their big dream included me!
Would I be their interpreter to translate for the teachers who could only speak English? With approval from the school, they designed a free school for the children who had no access to education.
Not only did they ask me to translate for them, but they included me in their afterschool program as a peer tutor!
This idea awoke something that had been tucked in my heart, waiting for the right time to emerge. I grew up surrounded by unspeakable poverty, and even as a child experienced an ever-present burden. How was it possible that I had a home and the children of the street had nothing? I dreamed of helping but dismissed the idea because I was only a little girl.
However, God didn't see it that way. He had a plan. My classes in education began long before I attended college. Working beside two committed teachers put me on a career course that laid a foundation for more than a job. It became a life calling.
Years passed. My family returned to the United States. I graduated from college with a Spanish degree and began my career as a teacher. I married. Babies arrived.
It seemed my calling to teach was put on hold. But as a stay-at-home mother, I had the opportunity to learn about another education, a spiritual one. I began attending Bible studies and my original passion for education multiplied. I wanted to share the Bible with others. And I did, first with children and then with women.
From teaching Bible classes, God broadened my ministry. And once again, His wonders came to light. It was obvious He had carefully positioned me. A few years ago, I began to reach out to women whose native language is Spanish by translating devotions that reach around the world.
I certainly never imagined I'd trace God's plan for my life to the Andean hillsides of South America and the vision of two dedicated teachers. That plan continues in the ministry work that fuels my passion today in North Carolina. Looking back, I see the many wonderful things God has had for me, which are truly too many to talk about, just as Psalm 40:5 says!
I stand amazed that God would choose a young girl living in a jungle and weave her experiences, along with others' lives, into His present and future plans to prove His wondrous ways: "Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare" (Psalm 40:5).
If God did this with me, He can do it for you.
Heavenly Father, thank You for planting dreams in our hearts to serve You, even as little children. Open our eyes to Your work all around us, and how You weave people and circumstances together. You are a dream giver and a dream fulfiller. We worship You and give You all the glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Join the Lord in what He has planned for you by saying "Yes" to Him! Our newest online Bible study will encourage you to do just that! Click here to sign up today for theWhat Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst study.
Pick up your copy of From the Pound to the Palace (DVD) by Van Walton to share with your kids. This delightful testimony of an obedient and devoted dog who meets his master and follows him to a safe place combines life lessons, Bible truths and daily applications.
Visit Van's blog for more encouragement.
Reflect and Respond:
Take a few moments today to reflect on your life. Note how the highlights weave together and point to God's wondrous ways.
Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (NIV)
© 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 19 July 2013.