Myles was a drug addict before he came to faith in Christ. Now, He uses that past life to minister to other addicts in his community. He does his best to help by using the gift he believes God has specifically given him. Most of all, he shares the Gospel with them. Some hear the words, and are moved by them to repent and trust in Christ. Some others hear the words and leave unaffected. Whatever the circumstances or results, Myles keeps on walking out that specific plan God has for his life.
One day on the way out to minister, Myles was struck by a car operated by a drunk driver. The injuries sustained by this accident left him a quadriplegic. a year later, after the trial is over, Myles has the opportunity to speak candidly at the sentencing. The first words out his mouth is, “I forgive you”. As a murmur runs through the room, Myles uses the opportunity to share the Gospel with any who might be open to hear it. He remembers that there are times, even now, he’s no better than this driver who left him crippled. In fact, Myles remembers times when he might be considered worse. He says to the captive audience that, “I’ve seen grace given to me by God. I hope someday you all might see it as well.” As he’s wheeled out of the courtroom, he can see some moved by his words, others shocked, and some stoic and still. Myles can only hope some seeds of encouragement were planted today as he keeps “rolling” out God’s specific plan for his life.
As a quadriplegic, God has given Myles the opportunity to speak to those in the very same situation. Though it’s only been a little over two years since his accident, Myles has made adjustments well enough to be able to share his story with others that are just starting out on this difficult journey. He tells them about a well of sadness and tears and that he even gets depressed at times. Eventually, Myles tells them what keeps him going. He weaves a story of hope that culminates in a faith in a God that reached down to him. He tells them how its kept him going no matter what’s happening in his life. Through this opportunity he sees many over the years, come and place their trust in Christ as faith takes hold. Myles live every day like this for a while, knowing that he is fulfilling God’s specific plan for his life.
One day, some years down the road, Myles becomes ill. His body has just been through too much in it’s short life. He’s admitted to the hospital and checked over and over again by doctors, nurses and other technicians. Through it all, though weak, Myles remains positive and upbeat. It doesn’t mean that he’s not concerned or worried. He’s thinking about family, friends, people he’s helped and still helping, and he starts praying for them. Myles prays God would send others to be there for them and that they would continue to be encouraged. During his long stay at the hospital, the nurses and others take notice of Myles’ attitude. He always seems more concerned for others, then himself. So, they ask him why? Myles tells them about God, all he’s done, even in the most difficult of times, and how he has encouraged him through it. Myles tells them it wasn’t easy, and that at times, he had to trust God more than he wanted to, but he knew God deserved his trust for rescuing him from sin and death, through his son, Jesus.
It’s been months. This hospital has been Myles’ “home” for too long, and now it seems to finally be coming to an end. A small group of hospital workers that have gotten to know him gather in Myles’ room. He sees this as another opportunity to speak the Gospel of grace to them. He tells them he doesn’t want to die. He also says despite that, he keeps on trusting God for everything, and shares the message of grace one last time so eyes might be open to see Christ as he does. Through this time in the hospital, some do and of course some don’t come to that faith in Christ. Now, In the quiet of the night, Myles’s eyes begin to close for the final time. He’s thankful for God’s specific plan for him. One that included drugs, an accident, and prolonged illness.
…and Myles drift away from a body racked with pain, onto glory.
There is a funeral for Myles. The turn out is not very big. Some family, and a few church members he was close to, show up. They pour out honest and heartfelt sorrow. They know where he is now, but they miss Myles’ presence, influence, and encouragements. As the service winds down, a few more people quietly file in. Recovered drug addicts, a retired judge, nurses, orderlies, others, some wheelchair bound. Even… a former drunk driver. One by one they stand and testify to God’s goodness, mercy and grace. Each one with their own story, and it always ends the same. It ends not just thanking God for this person that came into their lives, but thanking this person for God in their lives.
Myles knew God had a specific plan for his life.
Do you know what that plan was?
So many times we say that God has a specific plan for us. We like to use scriptures to show how specifically important we are to God’s plan. We imply that if we were not there, God would not be able to do what he wants to do.
In this parable, the specific plan for Myles was not to work with drug addicts or the handicapped. It was not to specifically forgive the one who crippled him or be a good hospital patient. It wasn’t even to have lots of people come to his funeral. The VERY specific plan for Myles’ life was to Glorify God, and enjoy Him. Whatever he did, he tried to lift God up with his actions and words. he took the time to be kind and share the good news of the Gospel. His words carried weight not because of his life, but because of a Savior that carried Myles’ life in his hands. The weight of his words were sustained by hands and feet that bled and died for him.
I wrote this story to have you consider that God has the final say in all things. When we make some grand claim about specific plans God has for us, we might be devastated when something tragic happens and everything falls apart, including what was thought to be God’s specific plan for our lives. Instead, consider trusting God’s will for you life. Know that His ultimate will for you is always better than what we can or can’t understand. Know that there is, and always will be, work for us to do, and we should do that work (whatever it may be). That we would not place our attention on that specific work as if we owned it, but on who we do it for. The man in this story lived his life as if God’s “specific” plan was being done wherever he was, not in what he does. This resulted in him living a life that tried to glorify God no matter the circumstances. This also created ripples that went past his life. He knew he was only a part in God’s plan.
This is how we should view our lives, not as if we have a plan God will make himself a part of, but that He has a plan that He allows us to participate in.