Divine Sovereignty

September 7, 2010 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

It is such a joy to see young people come to know Christ personally and begin to grow in their faith. In long-term facilities our volunteers build lengthy relationships with the kids who attend their Bible studies. Eventually kids are released from lock-up. Although we are glad when kids get out, we are also concerned for them as they transition back home. “Will they get in trouble again? Will they be safe? What will happen of their faith in Christ? Can we trust that God will pick up where we leave off?” Whenever this happens we are once again forced to trust in the sovereignty of God.

Two weeks ago I met with a group of Straight Ahead volunteers who lead a weekly Bible study in a girls’ lock-up facility in central Massachusetts. We got together at one of their homes for an informal night out. As people were arriving I overheard several members of the group talking about one girl in particular who had attended their Bible study and was a new Christian. Rachel* had recently been released from the facility to live with her family.

The group was sharing how they were concerned for her as she made this difficult transition…not only for her safety and sobriety, but also for her new faith. She had been growing as a new believer during her time in lock-up but now that she was out on her own, they wondered how she would do. The group was in regular contact via email and wished to be able to meet with her in person and continue what they had started, but Rachel was living too far away for this to be feasible.

As I sat there listening, I marveled at how God orchestrates events. Some call this coincidence; Christians call it Divine sovereignty: I happened to be there that night and they happened to talk about Rachel amongst themselves. I happened to be listening and I happened to have spoken at a church in Rachel’s town. I happened to know a woman off the top of my head where Rachel lived, two hours away, that had been interested in working with juvenile offenders. The next day I contacted the woman about picking up where the Bible study leaders left off…meeting with Rachel for mentoring, Bible study, discipleship, church, etc. And after some time in prayer with her husband, the woman agreed!

We know that God is at work through us during our Bible studies with the kids during the length of their incarceration, be it two weeks or two years. When kids are released it forces us to trust God to continue the work He has already started. As Bible study leaders we play an important role, but we are not the end all. We are a small, albeit important, link of a chain that He started and is building on. The challenge is to trust that God will continue to add links to the chain when the kids are no longer in our care.

*name changed

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Entry filed under: Bible Study Leaders, Volunteer Stories. Tags: , .

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