By Karen O’Connor:
Sometimes our plans are not God’s. Janie unexpectedly found the will of God in a stew pot.
My young church friend Janey could hardly wait to board the plane with her college friends for a short-term summer mission in the Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in Central Africa.
The group’s purpose was to meet native Africans, and to move from village to village supporting Christian leaders in showing a film about the life of Christ. The furthest thing from her mind was finding God in a stew pot.
But then one evening at dusk, an African man on the crew called her aside and asked her to prepare stew for dinner. “That was the last thing I felt like doing,” said Janey. “I was annoyed that he chose a woman to do the cooking. Why not a guy? Besides, that’s not what I came for. I wanted to share Jesus with the people, not be stuck in front of a stove.”
But Janey didn’t have a choice. She was told to get on it.
“Then the most amazing thing occurred,” she said smiling. “As I peeled carrots and potatoes, and cut up pieces of stew meat, I looked up for a moment, and there in the midst of this beautiful tropical setting, I noticed mothers walking back and forth, busy with their duties, as children played and ran down the dirt paths.”
Janey lingered over the scene when suddenly the sky turned an intense bright orange––almost red.
“It was the most stunning sunset I had ever seen. I couldn’t stop looking at it. Moments before I had been so focused on what would gratify me, I almost missed this exquisite gift, and the entire point of the trip, which was to serve where I was needed. I turned back to my task. There I was finding God in a stew pot—a most unexpected place,” she said. “And I was filled with unspeakable joy.”
I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food. (Psalm 132:15, NIV Bible)
Then Janey added, “It was the best stew I ever ate!”
For delicious beef stew, check out the instructions on this YouTube video:
How To Make Great Beef Stew, Fast & Easy
You can also print this beef stew recipe.
Have you ever had an intended mission interrupted by an unexpected moment from God? Sometimes our plans are not His! Share your own story with us in a Comment (link is by the article title).
©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com