Not Left To Chance

By Hannah Kessler, Partnership Coordinator

As the summer staff arrived in West Virginia I was trying to keep all of my to-do’s in order. Get the shower trailer complete and ready to go… make sure all our project plans were finalized and our construction team was in the loop… invite everyone to our first community welcome dinner… The list went on and on, and to be honest, this was the first year it didn’t really bother me that much. You see, in the midst of the 2016 floods, God was graciously teaching me a big life lesson.

He is, above all else, in control.

Now I can safely type that from my desk. But I know to believe it is an entirely different challenge. As you sit back and reflect on this past year, I hope you can also see God working in even the seemingly insignificant details.

2 years before the flood hit, I started going to West Virginia VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) meetings. I remember sitting in the meetings thinking: “this has nothing to do with me… Why am I here?” It seemed like a good opportunity, but to be honest I didn’t really have a reason to be there. But, on June 24th, 2016, less than 24 hours after the flood in Clendenin,  I called into a West Virginia VOAD hotline. The previous VOAD meetings made up my background and knowledge of disaster response. As it turns out, the entirety of our immediate relief (6 weeks) was completely immersed in VOAD direction and protocol. We could not have responded in the way we did, if it had not been for those initial meetings.

The Thursday before our first group arrived this summer, I got a phone call from a friend with a different missions organization. She was reminding me that her group was heading in that day, and we were sharing a facility for the week. In the midst of two weeks of training and preparation it had completely slipped my mind that we would be sharing the facility for the first few weeks of the summer. Although a little bit unprepared, I went ahead and said “Great! Can’t wait to see you!”. Certainly all of the logistics and questions would play out as we prepared for their arrival. As my friend and her husband arrived in West Virginia I realized that despite 2 separate plumbers agreeing to fix our shower trailer, neither had showed. And in 3 days 50 people would be at our facility. Not to worry though, one of the volunteers with the other organization jumped right in and fixed the shower trailer within 2 days, free of charge.

As a Christian I can’t believe in chance. To the world these things are coincidence and good luck. But to me these events are profoundly personal, planned and accomplished by a faithful God.

It’s not just in the big things- but in the small also — “from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36). Even the things which would otherwise be left solely to chance, like the roll of the dice: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD” (Proverbs 16:33). 

In the busyness of life it’s easy to take things for granted and just contribute various outcomes to our good fortune or mediocre planning skills. But if there is a God in heaven, we must know that there is no such thing as mere chance, not even in the smallest events of our lives.