God Working in the Lives of Humans
Reflections about The Way from Clyde Jones
In Paul’s address to the Athenians in Acts 17:24-31, he declares in verse 27 that (among other things), “God determined the times and places that men should live.” He then gives as the reason, “that men would seek him and perhaps reach out and find him.”
God is invisible, a spirit being (John 4:24). Paul affirms this in Colossians “He(Jesus) is the image of the invisible God.” The Hebrew writer (11:1) tells us that faith (in God) is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Then in verse 6 says, “that without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly SEEK him.”
Therefore, when God works in this world in the lives of humans we do not see him visually, but we see the actions of those in whose lives he works. For example, in Hebrews 11:27 we learn that Moses, who left Egypt, not fearing the King’s anger, because he saw him who is invisible. Men are called by God (Rom 1:6&7) to be his people and told that God works in their lives for their good (Rom 8:28). Paul further assures us that, God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Eph 1:11) and tells us (1Tim2:4) that he wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to see God’s activity in the lives of humans until we can look back and see what has transpired or God chooses to reveal it through his written word.
The work that began five years ago, in May 2007, as The Way , a recovery program for men enslaved by addiction to drugs and alcohol, is a vivid example of God working in the lives of men who earnestly seek him. First, he took Clyde Jones, a retired NASA engineer who knew essentially nothing about addiction, along with his wife Georgine and put the right circumstances and people into their life. This resulted in a facility where as many as twenty two men could be housed in comfortable living quarters and be taught the good news of Jesus Christ.
For the first six months the program was plagued with financial and organizational problems. Not seeing a solution to these , there was consideration for closing down, but God stepped in and brought Tom Reynolds in to lead the program. Tom has steadily improved the organization and operation so that now the program has nationwide appeal with a waiting list for entrance much of the time.
To help with the financial side God sent Bill and Teri Neiland in to organize and direct a business model which is increasing our stability and consistency. Also God has worked in the lives of seven men and two ladies to serve on a board of directors to oversee the work as well as provide essential funding. None of these generous board members receive any compensation for their service. Furthermore, all of these board members could use their time and resources to affect a more comfortable life for themselves, but have chosen to do this so that men enslaved by addiction could be set free.
It is difficult to conceive of this program being in any way as effective as it has become without the hand of God guiding the lives of all involved. As I shared some of these thoughts during a recent graduation of two men, I reflected on how God also brought them to The Way having prepared all this. Each life to God is very precious and he works constantly to make opportunities for men to be freed of their addiction that Satan has so cleverly deceived them with. When I think of how amazing this five year journey has been I cannot but “bow in humble adoration and proclaim my God, how great thou art”.
As I observe the hand of God, I see him bringing people and circumstances together to present opportunity to find him, by men willing to seek him. The men who have come to The Way have been given an opportunity by this program to find God. The people involved in making the program what it is are being used by God to accomplish his purpose of having men be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth. I didn’t recognize it when it was happening, but am thankful that God worked in my life to use me in a small way to bring this about and give my life meaning it never would have had.