“Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the LORD of hosts is His name.” Jeremiah 31:35
In January, after three months of raising funds for our new playground, the day had finally come for the equipment to be delivered. The forecast for the entire week was rain, every day, all day. The driver told me over the phone he would unload the equipment rain or shine at the church around 8:00 am.
The next day, the rain poured without interruption. The driver pulled around back in an 18-wheeler. Thankfully, Elder Tommy Ellett arranged for some workers with a fork-lift to come help unload the equipment in a sensible way. When 8:30 am rolled around, suddenly, there was a calm in the storm. The torrential rain storm became an annoying mist, but I’d take that any day compared to what it had been! As we began unloading 200+ pieces, I noticed some with a different color scheme than we had ordered. Our color scheme was a very vivid light green, yellow, and blue – while some of these pieces were more of a “John Deere” green. I asked the driver, "Do those pieces belong to us?" After checking the delivery, sure enough, there was another delivery on the same truck. So, we began loading the John Deere green pieces back onto the truck. Most of them were long poles covered in cardboard, so you could only see the ends of them sticking out about a few inches. With the mist, the cold, and an overwhelming amount of supplies and boxes, it was hard keeping track of what belonged to us and what needed to go.
Fast forward to March 11, the playground construction began. The installer was from northern Alabama and was anxious to get started. As I visited with him on the first day, he told me all about how he enjoyed putting together playgrounds for a living, but that he was his own worst enemy. I asked what he meant by that and he said he was always forgetting tools and supplies needed to complete the job! Not the greatest thing to hear from the man building your playground, but he looked professional enough!
Two days later, after he had built the main “fortress” portion of our playground, I walked outside to check on him and came upon an interesting sight. There he was, inside his small Bobcat forklift. On the forklift, he had attached a long, 10-foot John Deere green pole. The pole was instrumental in lifting the canopy of the playground fortress, so he could set it on top. After he did this, he jumped out of the Bobcat with a smile and said, “Man, am I glad I found this green pole! If I hadn’t had this, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the job on time! I left my extension gear at home, so I had to improvise.” At that moment, I said, “Isn’t God’s providence amazing?” He asked what that was, and from there, our conversation took flight.
I was truly amazed by God in that moment. Sure, it may seem coincidental or insignificant to some, but for me all I could do was smile and be in awe of God’s providence and the “fixed order” of this entire event. “It just so happened” that ONE green pole was left behind that day back in January when we were unloading. God knew the playground installer often forgot things. God knew he could use this out of place green pole to get the playground canopy properly installed, so the job could be finished on time! Sometimes in the Christian life, things feel out of place. Sometimes you and I might feel like the only green pole in the room, while everyone else is yellow, light green, and blue. Does that mean we give up and try to compromise with who we really are and how God has made us? Of course not! God has YOU exactly how and where YOU need to be at THIS MOMENT in your life! He WILL and CAN use US for mighty things. He has given us so many wonderful skills and gifts (1 Corinthians 12) that we’re called to use every day to glorify Him. If you’re tempted to feel out of place this month, know that you’re not, and you yourself might be the important piece God has provided to get the job done!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.