Always Trusting God


My friend Irene Hurt shared this story about Stephen Grellat which appeared in Measure Your Life, by Wesley Duewel. Grellat sought to follow God, even when he did not understand the Lord’s plans. He once felt God wanted him to preach in a remote forested region of America. He traveled to the area but found only empty shanties after a logging crew left. Duewel wrote, “He was so sure that he was sent by God that he went into an empty shanty and preached to the bare walls the sermon that God had placed upon his heart. He then returned to his home. He could never understand why God would send him to preach to an empty shanty.”

Years later, however, as Grellat walked across London Bridge, God revealed how he had used Grellat’s obedience. A stranger grabbed his arm saying, “I found you at last!” Grellat replied, “I think you are mistaken.” “No. Didn’t you preach in an empty shanty in the woods of America years ago?” Grellat responded, “Yes, but no one was there.” The man replied, “I was the foreman in charge of the loggers. We had moved to a new location before I realized I’d left one of my tools behind. I returned to get it and heard a voice in one of the shanties; I peered through a crack between the logs and saw you. You never saw me, but I listened to… your sermon… I became so convicted of my sin that… I purchased a Bible, repented… and became a Christian... I began to win my men to Christ. Your sermon has led at least a thousand people to Christ…”

Grellat’s amazing story is not the first time God has worked in unexpected ways. Scripture tells an equally amazing story in the book of Acts. As the early church was growing rapidly, God used Philip, one of the twelve apostles. Scripture says, “…the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized.” (Acts 8:12, NLT) God called Philip from his productive ministry to a remote desert road. Acts 8:26-39 tells how after effectively speaking to crowds, Philip shared Jesus with just one man.

This story illustrates God’s interest in individuals; however, it was also strategic since the man with whom Philip shared Jesus was a powerful Ethiopian official who likely influenced countless others. Leaving an active ministry to share with a single man appears counter-productive, but God had a much larger plan than Philip understood.

Whether it is Philip, Grellat, or you and me, we can trust God even if we are clueless about what he is doing. Sometimes we eventually understand God’s plans, while at other times we will never comprehend how he is working, but God can always be trusted!