By Nathan Mark
Its amazing how during times of pain and crisis it is so easy to get caught up in worry about the situation I am in, instead of trusting the Master Planner. More than ever before, I am sure that our God is not surprised by anything but rather holds all things and events in His hand and that I am part of His plan.
If you have not seen the documentary, “The Star of Bethlehem” I highly recommend it. The movie is about the science behind the star described in the Gospels at the time Jesus was born. It’s put together not by a scientific expert, but by a normal average Joe who started studying the bible in relation to the stars. Using astronomy software we are now able, by mathematical calculation, to look at the night sky at any day in history from any place on earth. So the maker of the movie, speculating about the time Christ was born decided to look at the night sky during that time. What he found was mind blowing. Apparently Venus and Jupiter aligned for a period of time to where, at no other point in history would there have been a star so bright. What’s more interesting is that it appeared in the western sky over Bethlehem if viewing it from Babylon. It is speculated that the wise men came from Babylon. Isn’t that incredible? This isn’t speculation. Scientifically, we know that a star brighter than anything ever seen in the night sky up until that point appeared during the time of Christ’s birth, directly over the city of Bethlehem when viewed from Babylon.
Going even further, he also estimated from that date to come up with a date about 33 years later when tradition holds that Christ would have been crucified. We know that Jesus died the Friday before passover. So using the Jewish lunar calender he figured out the day in history Jesus died. The crazy thing is that comparing it to the biblical account, there was a lunar eclipse to the exact hour that Jesus would have died. Amazing. Once again the bible proves itself to be accurate.
Now why, you may ask, do I tell you this? The cosmos were set into motion at creation. The universe is like a clock and God set it when he created it. You think of all the things that could have happened to make that clock not line up with Christs death and yet it happened exactly as it was supposed to. Men have been born, lived and died for generations upon generations. Billions upon billions of decisions were made by man since the dawn of time and yet God had a plan that played out to the minute even though it all started at creation. God knew from the moment he created the cosmos that He was going to eventually send Jesus and He knew from the beginning, down to the minute as to when He would die. The phrase that Jesus would say, “My time is not yet come.” now means a little more. Our God is truly amazing. He is able to know the end from the beginning. He knows how it will all play out. There is nothing that is going to thwart His purpose. Yet at the same time, you and I have some amount of free will. He knows all the decisions that are possible for us to make and still His purpose continues.
Right now, as many of you are aware I am at the point in my life where I am wondering if God has another big change in mind for Becky and I. And the question I am asking Him is not, “God, what can I do for you?” The question is, “God, what are you doing, and how can I be part of it?” I want to serve Him in whatever manner that pleases him. I do believe that we are called to ministers for Christ wherever we are, in whatever we do and I am content to serve him in whatever way He has chosen. I have been selling insurance for the last year and a half but my wife and I have been seeking His direction over the last few months as to whether or not He may be directing us into a “full time” paid ministry position. I would like to say, that believe I have been in “full-time” ministry since I chose to follow him but now we are now wondering if he is calling us into paid church ministry. We are content where we are, in that whatever we do it will be for His glory and for His service. But that question keeps echoing in my soul. “What is God doing, and how can I be a part of it?” Obviously not all of us are destined for paid ministry and I do not believe that paid ministry holds a higher position than non-paid ministry. But this is where I believe he may be directing my wife and I. If you are a Christian, this is a good question to ask yourself. God is at work. Paul says in Ephesians 2 that “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them. We are a new creation when we accept God’s forgiveness, but we are “re-created” to do the works which he has already prepared for us to do. Regardless His plan will come to fruition. The question is are you going to be a part of it. Are you seeking Him as to how you can be used according to His purpose right where you are?
As I look back over the last few years, it is evident that God has been working out His plans in Beck’s and my life. We were forced to give up our house in the down real estate market. I was laid off from electrical work and started selling insurance. We left everything we knew behind in Washington to pick up and move to Chicago. And now we are seeking Him in the next step. None of this has really been pleasant or fun. It has actually been pretty hard and filled with pain but God has had a plan even so. If we had not given up our house, we might not be in Chicago now and would probably not have learned the needed lessons to be ready for the next step in our lives. As you look back on your own trials, I’m sure its hard not to just see the pain and suffering and instead see that God is at work. I am confident no matter what you’ve been through, if you look closely, that you will see that God is at work and He is working out His plan. You may even be in a time of pain right now. Be confident in this that God is working all things together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.