Words of Encouragement

Archive for June, 2015


Cyndi den OtterOur youngest child has just completed university.  We watch our children make their way as they are young and freshly into their careers.  We can see how God is molding their lives in ways that perfectly fits their personalities and interests, the way God wired them. We remember this uncertain time when our lives stretched in front of us and we had dreams and hopes.

We hoped to do mighty things for God and we were ready … so we thought.

Jeff  had a degree in Psychology from McMaster and a mostly completed Social Work degree. His best friend in Ontario was originally from NB so Jeff travelled with him here many times.  He fell in love with the province and a girl that lived there 🙂  When he moved to NB, he went to work as a mechanic because he spent all of his teen years doing mechanical work in his Uncle’s shop.  He went on to study and received his Interprovincial Mechanics License.  He worked as a mechanic for a while and even had his own shop.  God nudged him into a job at CIEVA and he was the shop foreman working with handicapped adults. While he was there, he felt he should complete his degree in social work.   After doing so, he began the career that he first planned in university.  Proverbs 16:9  We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.  NLT   Many times he wondered WHAT is God doing with my life? What is God’s purpose for me?

We hoped to do great things for God … anything.

Why the long meandering route?  We talk about it now and laugh because we can see how each and every part played into his current role.  He can relate to many professions.  He can sit and talk cars and engines  for hours.  His days in the wood working shop allowed him to have a hobby in wood working that relaxes and refreshes him.  His role as an advocate is firmly lodged in his heart due to his time at CIEVA.  It all prepared him for his current job as a Advisor for Autism and Early Childhood Education for the Province of NB.

I studied to be a secretary and my placement for this course was in the ER for 2 weeks.  When I completed these studies, I promptly went to work … waiting tables in a restaurant which is what I had done in high school.  However, my route was quite different than Jeff’s.  After working as a waitress for a year,   God snatched me out of my job and plunked me into my role as a medical secretary in the ER – literally overnight.  I have been a medical secretary ever since.  Whenever one door closed, God opened a new one for me.  When the doors close for good, I will know that it is time to be done.  Psalm 32:8 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”  NLT.

Through the years God led us to do many things in our church.  We sat on committees and boards, volunteered in our community , and participated in everything going on at the church.  Jeff was a deacon, an elder, played the organ, and was on the worship team.  I organized events and worked in children’s ministry for decades.  We raised our children, worked, and made a home.  We tried to be obedient to God’s call and seek His will.  We floundered at times.  We had seasons of set-backs, discouragement, and doubt.  Sometimes we wondered what  God was doing.  Did we measure up? We hoped that God would reveal with great fanfare what He would have us do with our lives, preferably written  in the clouds and signed.

We hoped to do good things for God … something.

We all have an idea in our mind of what the measuring stick looks like.  Is it perhaps someone who stands on a stage in front of thousands of people to preach and teach?  Is it a Christian singer with loads of fans and lots songs recorded?  Is it a missionary to foreign lands? Is it someone big and powerful?

What is the measuring stick of mighty, great, good, or at least anything-something for God?

Does it depend on how many failures and success that we have?

We did not realize God was leading us all along to what He wanted us to do and that the things we had already done in our jobs and our church were all part of His plan.  As we fret and fuss about deciding what and who is important, God is already at work.  In spite of the fact that we pat ourselves on the back for the good things we think we have done,  GOD is actually the one who is doing the great and mighty things.  Yes, He wants a relationship with us and He has a purpose for our lives but the “something” we do is the design made by Him that exactly fits our lives if we are obedient.  Sometimes people get the great “AHA” moment but often  it is a gentle nudging through time and a molding to His purpose and His will.  He is  asking us to stop struggling and be ready to obey and live each day for Him and He will lead us to where He wants us to go. Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. NLT  He uses all of our pain and life circumstances to create a beautiful plan. We will exactly fit His measuring stick.  God is saying –

“Just wait and watch and see the great and mighty things I will do.”




Copyright 2015 June 10 Cyndi den Otter – All Rights Reserved May be used with author’s permission