Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Am Not Skilled To Understand"1 (Lyrics)
Mark 15:21a – A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus' cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) (NLT)
Thousands of people are at the wrong place at the wrong time every day.
As I listen to the latest news headlines while eating breakfast, I hear about people who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Some are seriously injured, while others are killed. A police officer is shot. A motorist is involved in a life-altering accident. Some board a plane only to have it crash or be blown up by terrorists. Others are the victims of robberies or murders.
Apparently, Simon of Cyrene was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Minding his own business as he hobbles in from the countryside, he is accosted by Roman soldiers leading Jesus to Calvary to crucify Him. By this time, Jesus is struggling because of the persecution that He has endured. Rather than fool with His inability to move faster, the soldiers enlist someone to carry the cross for Him.
But perhaps Simon wasn't at the wrong place at the wrong time. Just maybe he was at the wrong place at the right time. Cyrene is located in modern-day Libya, so it's possible that Simon was an African man coming to worship during the Passover celebration. Though Simon worshipped the God of the Jews, this experience likely led him to faith in Jesus Christ. By carrying the cross, he would have touched the blood of Jesus and probably Jesus Himself. Though his experience wasn't pleasant, Simon was where he needed to be — though it may not have looked so.
God has the habit of placing me in what appears to be wrong places at the most inconvenient times. Later, I discover that these times and places are just where I need to be to learn important lessons that propel me forward in my spiritual growth. From God's perspective, there is never a wrong place or a wrong time. He guides my steps and forms my image after His, just as the potter does the clay vessel. As with Simon, if I'm perceptive, He'll put me exactly where I need to be.
Let us not fear the events of the day. Instead, let us trust God to put each one of us exactly where He needs us to experience all that He has in store for us.
Prayer: Father, give us faith that You will place us exactly where we need to be during the course of our lifetimes. Amen.
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God is in control! Allelujah!
Excellent devotional Martin! I think this is one of your best.
Thank you, Martin, for reminding us that God places us where He will use us for His glory, if we are willing, listening, and obedient. Blessings.
Very wisely said.
May God continue to bless you and work through you.
Martin – What a wonderful thought. You are right. God has us at the place He wants us to be each day as we follow His lead.
A wonderful devotional, Martin. Thanks for writing.
So true – best place to be is where God wills and needs us to be.
Another devotional to open to the things we should know!
God bless you, Martin!
Good words, I love that story of Simon of Cyrene, it even mentions the names of his sons, and later on one of them is mentioned as well. So either Simon already was a believer in Christ or became one after the events of the day.
Thank you for writing.
Good morning, Martin.
That was a thoughtful and helpful devotional this morning.
Curiously, I also received a message this morning, referring to “9/11”, telling of inconveniences that saved people from being in the Twin Towers.
“Too often we complain about the little annoyances in life when, perhaps, we should be thankful for them…”
So thank-you for reinforcing the principle that “From God’s perspective, there is never a wrong place or a wrong time.”
Hi Martin, What a very good perspective to have. I have to relearn this at times being a type a personality but when on mission trips we often found a delay lead us to an opportunity God had pre-planned for us. On one trip we were heading to visit with men in prison and we were pulled over on the road side by the police. Because we were the lead van, the other van stopped as well. We had to provide our passport and papers which never happens and very few if any of us had them. The other van went back to the mission house to get them. While we waited we prayed, sang, visited with the police officers and gave them bibles. We shared God’s love through an interpreter. We went to a bar/night club across the street. We were viewed with suspicion but thanked the people and were good ambassadors for our country and God.
We did not fret nor get worked up. God was with us. I had to learn this on these trips. When something went not as planned, I wondered what God was up to and looked for it. Blessings.
Thank you Martin for this very important reminder.
Thank you for using the very special example of Simon of Cyrene to show us that all our situations are part of God’s plan for us.
Your devotional reminds me of a song I heard. “Lord keep me in Your Will, So I won’t be in your way!”
This was just what I needed to read today to keep me focused on the treasures above for the Family of Faith, rather than the shiny tin-foil of this world. God Bless, and share again, often.
Thank you, Martin.
Keep writing for Jesus’ sake.