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Bart Smith: Divine Plan

After 50 plus years in ministry, I know we worship an awesome God! – a God who sometimes moves in mysterious ways.

My birthday is June 17th, the same date as that of John Wesley, founder of Methodism. I was raised in Colorado City in west Texas. At age three, I developed severe tonsillitis. The hospital doctors worked to help me, but my vital signs kept falling. Finally, the doctors informed my parents, “I’m sorry. We’ve done all we can do.”

My parents did what came naturally; they and the members of First Methodist Church prayed unceasingly for my healing. Through their love and prayers, a miracle happened; I was restored to health.

My mother was deeply religious, and she knew that God had spared me for a purpose. She just didn’t know what that purpose was!

I had a typical childhood. I played football, basketball, ran track, and was active in my local church. I also earned the rank of Eagle Scout with The Boy Scouts, and I worked with my pastor on my God and Country award. My pastor challenged me to consider if God had some special purpose for my life. I agreed to think and pray about it.

A year later, at the close of Sunday evening worship, the pastor gave the invitation. I felt the Holy Spirit move in me as I approached the altar, to offer my life in full time service to my Lord Jesus Christ.

I stood at the altar crying helplessly at the enormity of what had happened to me. My parents stood behind me in prayerful support. My mother had her moment of spiritual insight: Now she understood why her son’s life had been spared years ago. God had a plan to use her son in ministry to serve God’s son!

God has a divine plan for everyone. St Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless O Lord till they rest in thee.” If your heart is restless, it may be the Holy Spirit encouraging you to consider new options for your life. God loves to hear prayers that say, “Lord, I’m open to whatever you would have me do.”

Pray, then wait as our awesome, wonderful God leads you to discover your own divine plan.

Bart Smith, Pastor Emeritus