Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Resting in God's providential plan

Do you ever wish you were somewhere else - a different city, job or climate? We all feel that way at times because, this side of heaven, we live in the realm of the 'imperfect' and the 'incomplete.'
Even great Christians feel that way at times. That's certainly true of the reformer John Calvin. Despite the fact that God had called him to minister to the people in Geneva, Switzerland in 1536, the city fathers banished him in 1538, unwilling to stomach his proposed reforms. For three years he found refuge in Strasbourg, France and flourished in ministry there. When asked by his friend Pierre Viret if he planned to return to Geneva, Calvin answered, "...it would be perferable to perish for eternity than be tormented in that place. If you wish me well, my dear Viret, do not mention the subject!" (Gordon, Calvin, p. 121) Nevertheless, in 1541 Calvin was back in Geneva where he knew God wanted him and the church needed him. Were it not for his location in Geneva over the next quarter century, John Calvin would likely not have played such an influential role in the Protestant Reformation as he did.
God's sovereignty is the ultimate corrective to our discontent. Are you 'someplace' you'd rather not be right now? Someday you may understand just how strategic your location was for the glory of God and the extension of His Kingdom. For now, you can trust Him and find contentment even there - even if you, like Calvin, think you would rather 'perish for eternity than be tormented in that place.' From God's perspective, our places are always better than we think.

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