The snow that falls on the left of this sign will, when it melts, eventually make its way into the Rhine and out into the North Sea. The snow on the right of this sign will, when it melts, eventually make its way into the Danube and out into the Black Sea, and maybe even get to the Mediterranean.
Each flake of snow was powerless as it fell from the sky and is no less powerless as it sits waiting to melt and then to make its way back to an ocean somewhere. Is the same true for us? Do we have a destiny that we are powerless to affect?
I do not believe so!
I do believe that:
- God loves us and knows everything that has happened and will happen.
- God gives us freewill to make our own choices
- God sometimes chooses to intervene
- All of this is a complicated mix of paradoxes and mystery
We are not snowflakes that have no control of our actions or future yet there is a real sense, as we look back at certain moments in our life, that there is something guiding our actions and decisions, I really believe it is the Holy Spirit. I sometimes wonder about this when I think about how we ended up in Munich but it is so helpful to remember that God’s hand was visible in so many moments:
- The years of influence from family, friends and leaders that inspired our hearts to grow with international mission at the core
- The key conversation at a random conference in October 2015
- The wisdom of leaders who counselled us and advised us
- A phone call with a friend whose wife worked in a Munich grammar school that had an integration course for Anya
- The generosity of many friends and churches that enabled us to cover the moving and living costs
- The openness of our current landlord who gave us a chance to live in Munich when so many others had turned us down
- The jobs that opened up at the right times to enable us to survive financially and contribute to society here
Maybe if things had turned out slightly different we could have flowed down to the Black Sea instead of stopping in Bavaria (true story!) but what we are certain of is that God has loved and guided us while allowing us the free will to make our own choices, experience our own mistakes and enjoy the successes.