God always has a plan for us – a better plan for us. Even in the tiniest detail of things. Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord…
As is our nightly thing, Abraham and I were on the phone last night talking about our day, what we did, and you know, the boyfriend-girlfriend thing. “I love you. I love you, too. Oh yeah, well I love you more and I miss you. I miss you, too.” (awwwwwww!!)
Somewhere in that conversation, he told me that he had been craving a salad for dinner, so he thought of stopping by a certain restaurant, when he suddenly changed his mind and went in a different direction. He walked in to El Pollo Loco, and there was Beto – the reason he was guided there last night.
A brief history on Beto and Abraham: they met a few months back while working out at the gym. They began to talk and the conversation quickly turned to religion, faith, prayer and the Bible. By Abraham’s estimate, Beto is around 45-50 years old, whereas Abraham is going on 33. These past few months have been really busy for Abraham (work, church, preparing Bible studies, music practice, special events, etc.) and he had not made time to go to the gym in a while, thus not allowing him and Beto to meet up and talk.
Ok, back to last night… Abraham walks in to get something to eat. Beto notices him right away and goes up to him, excitedly. They begin to talk and Beto tells Abraham that he had been praying for him, wondering if he was ok because he hadn’t seen him at the gym in a while; he was worried. Abraham explained to him that he has been busy doing this and that, on top of studying and preparing Bible studies. Beto then tells him that he had wanted to run into him, to talk, get advice, and hear the Word of God. He said he prayed for God to please allow them to run into each other soon. And there they were – sitting together, eating and talking. The conversation quickly moved on from greeting one another to some serious issues. Beto went on to explain to Abraham that him and his wife have been facing some struggles in their marriage and he didn’t know what to do – a topic all too familiar to Abraham (and myself!). Of course, Abraham sympathized with Beto, went on to personal details of what he went through to show him he can relate to his current situation, and quickly brought up the Scripture. He quoted some Bible verses to Beto, which left him with tears in his eyes and saying to Abraham “this is why I wanted to talk with you. I knew you could help me, with Word of God. I knew you would have something to say to me that could help me and give me strength and direction.” They ended their conversation a while later, this time finally exchanging phone numbers (I don’t know why they never did before!).
Beto walked away feeling at peace and full of hope – not because of Abraham, but because of what God spoke through Abraham; he was a vessel the Lord used to help someone in need. We are all vessels that God wants to use for His Kingdom. But it is up to us to allow God to use us, guide us, and speak through us. But how will He speak through us if we don’t spend time reading and studying His Word? It’s up to us to be prepared in order to be used by God.
And though this post isn’t about putting Abraham up on a pedestal, the Bible does tell us to give credit where credit is due. Proverbs 27:2 “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” I admire Abraham and look up to him for many reasons, one being his dedication to reading and studying the Bible, fully immersing himself in it; he has taught me so much. I thank God for him!!
In hearing Abraham tell me this account of what happened last night, I immediately meditated on the Scripture that talks about not letting anyone despise you for your youth. Beto knows that Abraham is younger than him, but even still he looks up to him, because of his knowledge and ability to quote the Bible and apply it in a way that’s easily understood in current situations. You too have that ability. You just have to dedicate the time necessary to prepare yourself. No matter your age, you can inspire and help others. Don’t let your age hold you back.
1 Timothy 4:12-16 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Did you feel the power in that last line?! We are given that power to help others reach their salvation. We don’t give them salvation, but we can help guide them in the right direction. Maybe that will inspire us to try a little harder, read the Bible a little longer, study Scripture a little more, and pray to be guided. PERSIST IN THIS, FOR BY SO DOING YOU WILL SAVE BOTH YOURSELF AND YOUR HEARES.