The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ – Acts 17:24-28
I read this passage at Community Group meeting this past Wednesday and started chuckling to myself. What a timely reminder that my life is a part of God’s great story. Indeed, I see how God brought me to New York at exactly the right time so that I would seek Him and reach out for Him and find Him. While I started desiring a move to NYC in 2004, it clearly was not the right time for it. Neither was the year after that, nor the years that followed. God knew that the MA in Applied Theater program was about to be founded in 2008 and placed me in that program the year after. God also knew that a fellow believer would be starting the program in 2009 and that through her, I would not only grow in my personal faith, but also find Christian community, something I had avoided but longed for for years. He knew that through this program, I would be asked to examine my beliefs, my worldview, my stance on difficult issues and that I would have to run to Him and His word. Through this work, I would see intense brokenness and oppression in humankind and in myself and long for grace and mercy, which only He gives so freely. Through this work, I learned that God chooses to use us/ we can choose to be used by him, but that ultimately, only He can renew and reconcile all things. And thank God for his sovereignty, especially in view of broken human systems that attempt to do so! Oh, to think of the many experiences, people and thoughts that God has placed in my life in New York and the beautiful reasons for them, some of which I can contemplate and some that are yet unknown. As I move on to yet another time and place, I am reminded that it is God who determines them and that my ultimate purpose is to seek Him where He will be found. Indeed, in Him I live and move and have my being!
(photo courtesy of Emellia Zamani)