God Places Us Where He Will

” You don’t have to understand why you go to various places in your life. It occurred to me that we are not our own…we belong to God. He places us where He needs us, He places our gifts in the settings where they will be the most useful. “

Doug Pacheco

I walked into a drugstore this morning to pick up some cough drops and then go on to work. As I walked into the store, there wqs a loud ruckus taking place at the checkout. A woman was gesturing to the people in line and was saying something to them, but they couldn’t understand her because she was speaking in a foreign language.

I had already walked down to the aisle quite a distance from where the checkout was, and so, I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but; having made my selection between the 50 different cough remedies, I walked straight up to the front again to pay and leave.

When I got to the front, three employees and at least 5 customers were trying to figure out what the lady was saying. She seemed desperate and very frustrated that she couldn’t communicate with the others what was wrong.

As I approached the counter, the woman was making a gesture like she wanted someone to go outside with her. I immediately recognized that she was speaking Portuguese. I was surprised by the fact that no one spoke Spanish in line and that no one had made an effort to follow her to the door.

Having lived in Brazil for 5 years, I immediately spoke up and asked, “O que parece ser o problema Senhora?” “What seems to be the problem Ma’am?’ in Portuguese. She looked at me and her eyes got big and she said so fast I almost couldn’t understand her, “”Por favor, venha para o meu carro, há algo errado com o meu neto!””, “Please come out to my car, there is something wrong with my grandchild!”

One of the people at the front of the store was the Ass’t Pharmacist, and I asked her to come with me. We went to her car and her grandson was passed out, we tried to shake him but we couldn’t wake him up.
I asked the grandmother if he had fallen or if he had been sick, and she shook her head no. I don’t know why but I chanced to ask her, “Is he diabetic?” she shook her head yes and the Pharmacist went to the pharmacy to get something. At the same time, the Store manager had called 911.

No sooner had we carried the child into the store, EMT’s showed up. Within a few minutes the boy was awake and hugging his grandmother. The grandmother had thought her daughter had given her grandchild his insulin and she hadn’t.
I walked out of the store, (without my cough drops…) and just thought for a minute. I had almost stopped at a convenience store for cough drops but I was in the wrong lane to make the turn…I had decided to just go up the street and pull into the drugstore.

I realized we are positioned by the Lord many times to be at places we hadn’t planned to be. I also realized it had been almost 40 years since I spoke Portuguese in a daily situation and thought it amazing that of all the languages someone could have spoken here in Brentwood Tennessee, it would be Portuguese this lady spoke.

You don’t have to understand why you go to various places in your life. It occurred to me that we are not our own…we belong to God. He places us where He needs us, He places our gifts in the settings where they will be the most useful. We have this illusion that we are in control of our lives, but in reality, we control absolutely NOTHING. Not of our lives, our circumstances or our future.

I had a friend once who was alone after a divorce. She told me she didn’t understand why her marriage ended. She had tried hard to keep it together, but after years of trying, things just fell apart and she felt very much alone. She often asked God “What is the reason for me being alone”. I told her that it was my experience that God seldom answered the “Why” questions. Instead, God seems to show us the new direction. I think God knows that explanations are useless, and that “showing” is better than “telling”.

She ended up counseling a group of men and women who had gone through difficult divorces and began a ministry to the brokenhearted and the divorced. Years later, we met again and she smiled a radiant smile and said, “You were right! God shows us the new direction instead of “telling” us why.” She had helped up to that point over 300 men and women find hope and new purpose after their marriages broke apart.

If you find yourself in 2019 in a place you do not understand, ask God for direction. Scripture teaches,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5

God has not forgotten your gifts, your abilities or your talents. He knows how to use you to your highest potential. If you take a sudden detour, don’t despair…God knows where you are. You can’t become lost on the earth he created. There is no place where you will go where God can’t find you and place you in the right place, at the right time.

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