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The Conductor

There is a phrase in Psalm 80 that is repeated three times:
Restore us, O God;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.
It certainly has an historic context in which Israel is seeking God in repentance in hopes that God would forgive them and restore them in their land. They tended to live cyclically from obedience to warning to discipline to repentance to restoration. As a result, many of their worship songs contain these themes. This is one such song where the writer recognizes they are in between discipline and restoration and he is helping people focus their hearts.
As I read the words, I was reminded that God is a faithful God who can be counted on to “shine his face upon us.” This is the idea that God directs His favor toward His people and provides what they need. It may be encouragement, guidance, comfort, motivation or any one of a hundred other needs that cause our hearts to remain calm and our steps to remain focused. He is like a conductor that calls the right instrument into play at exactly the right time.
This impressed me because I just had an experience where I knew God had orchestrated circumstances for the good of His people. A man met me at the Portland airport to drive me to Cannon Beach for a family camp. During the two-hour drive he asked me, “Have you ever heard of Capernwray?” He asked because Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center hosts Ecola Bible School which is patterned after the school at Capernwray. The name was not familiar to me so I asked him to explain. He went on to tell me that it was a ministry located in England that was begun by Major Ian Thomas back in the 1940s. It houses a one-year Bible school program that immerses students in the exploration of God’s word “as they are figuring out what they want to be when they grow up.” The ministry has since expanded to include centers in Europe, Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
It was an interesting conversation but it took on greater meaning the next morning at breakfast when a family asked me, “Have you ever heard of Capernwray?” If they had asked me at breakfast the day before, I would have had no answer but God had orchestrated events so I was able to say, “Yes, I have.” They then asked, “How would you describe it to someone else?” When I repeated to them what I had heard in the car the day before they said, “Wow, that’s a pretty good description.” It was important to them because the two men had met their wives at Capernwray. One of them was currently a teacher in the ministry and several other family members, including their own children, had been impacted by the one-year program.
God didn’t have to do any of that but it gave me instant credibility with this group. It was one more example of how He directs His favor toward us and guides our steps for His honor. As we all go through our day today, let’s rest in the fact that God will orchestrate the events of our lives so that we are in the right place at the right time to impact the right people.

2 Responses

  1. Yes, we can affirm that God orchestrates events in our lives!

  2. I was focused, busy trying to get the lesson finished for next week when I got a text from Susie asking if I had a certain book. I scoured the shelves, but it was no where to be found. However, I did find two books that I needed for the lesson I was working on. God’s timing was perfect! Had it not been for that “interruption”, I would have powered right through and left out two very important resources. Having the added material also made my writing go much quicker. God is so good!!

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