…to be part of God’s redemptive plan.
David and I have a friend named Adrian. He’s been looking for a job for several months, and just this week, he received two very different offers for two very different jobs. He says, “If I take the first job, I’ll just be a cog in a wheel. If I take the second job, I’ll be on the ground floor of something that could be great.”
Who wants to be the cog in a wheel, giving the credit and glory for his hard work to a boss who doesn’t notice him? Performing his job perfectly every day for the benefit of a machine that he can’t see or understand? No one.
And I wonder if that very-human feeling is why so many of us have trouble giving complete control of our lives over to God. But that is exactly what we are called to do. Paul praises the Christian Thessalonians for playing their very specific but often small parts in God’s plan, and he prays they will continue to do so:
All this [that the Christians will persevere for the sake of the Christ] is why we are constantly praying for you, so God will make you worthy of the great calling you have received from Him and will give you the power to accomplish every good intention and work of faith. Then the great name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified through your lives, and you will be glorified in Him according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, our Liberating King.–2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, The Voice
Sometimes–when we are allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us–the pieces of our lives that we don’t understand are working to bring the rest of the world to a place of reconciliation with God.
I am thankful that we “cogs” do have some knowledge of the “machine” we are part of. Paul gives us a glimpse of the Second Coming of the Christ, one of the final parts of God’s great plan for humanity: at the final judgment, the presentation of sinful men and women who have been redeemed through Jesus’ graceful sacrifice on the cross will be glorified with Him. He will be glorified in them (v. 12).
The evidence of the Christ’s glory will be personified by the lives of those of us who are saved.
So on Thanksgiving (and every day), I will make the choice to be thankful for any small part I get to play in God’s redemptive plan. I will try to remember that my actions reflect upon the Christ–today and forever. Instead of acting selfishly and sinfully in the short term, I’ll thank God for His words that should guide my actions. I’ll trust that He is leading me down a path that will reconcile more people to Him.
(And I’ll thank Him for Adrian’s new job!)