Log in Subscribe
Hope for the Day


Diane Houghtaling
Posted 4/1/22

A common complaint of school children who are reluctant to learn something is, “When will I ever use this in the future?”. It has been my experience that God prepares us for future plans …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Hope for the Day



A common complaint of school children who are reluctant to learn something is, “When will I ever use this in the future?”. It has been my experience that God prepares us for future plans through the things we learn and experience in the past and present. I read a wonderful book by Bo Caldwell, City of Tranquil Light, which is based on the lives of her grandparents who were missionaries in China in the early 1900s. They had no formal training in missions, but they lived in China for 27 years. They faced hardship, sorrow, danger and tragedies, yet experienced the great joy of ministering to a people they grew to love. By the time God called them to return to the United States, they were physically broken, exhausted and had reached the end of themselves. But they obeyed and left their Chinese brothers and sisters to carry on the work they had started, which now included a church of over 900 people, a large medical clinic and an orphanage turned school. They also left their hearts in China. After a season of rest and recuperation, God gave them their next assignment. They halfheartedly went to meet the people of the new, growing church they were asked to consider ministering at. Imagine their delight when they found it was a Chinese church! The congregation was leery until they heard them speaking their native Mandarin, and saw that they knew their culture and ways. When they shared of their missionary years in China and they, too, had left their hearts in China, they saw it was a perfect fit. God had prepared them for this assignment during their last one. I have been amazed in my own life to see this play out time and time again. Sometimes God prepares us to withstand a single event that He knows is in our future. One night, years ago, after a prayer meeting at church, the pastor’s wife said God had a message for me. Even though my husband wouldn’t be able to work for a while, God would use that time to teach us to trust Him more. I didn’t know what was going to happen but prayed it wouldn’t be too bad. Two weeks later, sitting in an ICU waiting room while my husband was having a heart attack, I clung to those words of assurance that my husband would survive to learn to trust the Lord more. I have also seen how many of the jobs I’ve had in the past were all training for future jobs. I used the experience I gained from them in my job as a church secretary/bookkeeper for many years. That job of working closely with pastors and their families has better prepared me for a ministry that is still ahead of us. Many times we can feel like we’re not doing anything that will make a difference. We feel stuck in a rut and wish we could just move forward into the purposes we were created for. But we must keep in mind that every stage of our lives is important for future preparation. God will use even the hard, sorrowful experiences for His glory down the road. Zechariah 4:10 says that we “should not think that small beginnings are unimportant” (NCV). So let’s not despise where we are now, but accept that God is using these experiences for our future good and His glory. Hope Ministries is a Christian counseling center, and we are here to help. If you would like to speak confidentially with someone, give us a call at 845-482-5300.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here