Sometimes God prepares us for things we don't even know are coming down the road. Nearly twenty years ago I was asked to lead a Bible study on the Gospel of John for our Annual Conference School of Missions, and ten or eleven years ago I was asked to do the same with John's First Epistle. Both times I was provided with a budget for books and given some basic training for the tasks. I led the classes and filed my notes away, not thinking that I would ever use them again.
Until today. I've been planning to do some teaching while in Cuba this coming May, but wasn't settled on what to teach. I didn't know what would be the format, how much time we would have, or what topics would be appropriate. A serendipitous meeting with Joel, the man who got us connected with the Cuba mission, resulted in my gaining some clarity on these matters, and it appears as if the material I prepared years ago will fit the bill. Back when I put those lessons together, I had no inkling that one day they would be useful in any other setting. But God knew. The missions schools in which I taught were attended mostly by women, and it looks like most of the teaching in Cuba will be to women as well. And because they are Biblical studies, they are cross-cultural in their message. I am grateful tonight that God knows what I don't know, and that his plans are always bigger and more encompassing than I would imagine. I have a month to review and rewrite, but because the spadework is already done, most of the time can be spent preparing my heart instead of my lessons. As the Scriptures say, God's ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not ours. They are always bigger and better.