“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.” Jeremiah 29:11
Several months ago as I was in a drive-thru, God impressed on me that He wanted me to buy the meal for the car behind me. Since I was very uncomfortable about doing such a thing, I argued with God as I waited to pull up to the window. My arguments were that people would think I was crazy, and it would be embarrassing. The line seemed incredibly slow as I begged God not to expect me to carry through with His plan. Finally, I approached the window still debating what to do as I paid for my own breakfast. As the cashier handed my change through the window, I finally found the courage to obey. As I handed him more money, I explained that it was for the car behind me and asked him to tell the lady that God loves her. The young man did not react as if I had lost my mind as I feared, but instead he simply smiled and handed back my change. I watched anxiously in the rear view mirror as he delivered my message, and I wondered why God wanted me to buy breakfast for someone I didn’t even know. I realized it was a test of obedience for me, which God may have used to work in the lives of the employee, the lady behind me, and even their coworkers and families. I have no idea how my obedience may have been used and who may have been affected, but I had to simply trust Him and obey.
God may shake things up by asking you to step completely out of your comfort zone, but we can find comfort in knowing that He has a plan. Sometimes we forget that the world doesn’t revolve around our own lives. There are other people in the world, and everything we do and say affects countless other lives. Our obedience may be used to bring encouragement or even salvation to someone at a time of desperation. God is working in the lives of everyone around us as well as our own. Our lives all fit together like a puzzle. In the big picture, each life is connected like puzzle pieces to complete God’s will, so it makes perfect sense that our actions have a ripple effect and flow to others we know nothing about.
Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” God uses our obedience to accomplish His will. Sometimes He may ask us to step our of our comfort zone to do things that aren’t easy like change jobs, move away, minister to others, share your faith, or simply buy someone’s breakfast. We may not understand His plan, but we must consider the big picture and how God fits all the pieces together to accomplish His will for us and those around us.