“Who knows but that you have come to the royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:12b NIV
When my husband, Rod, and I planned a vacation to Ireland, September 2001, we didn’t know that we would be overseas on one of the blackest days in the history of the United States. Yet as God placed Esther in a Persian harem for a purpose, so He used us in the aftermath of 911.
We were eating lunch in an Irish village when we heard the tragic news. Occasionally, I have questioned the truth of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” My doubts were never greater than they were that day.
Subsequent situations convinced me that God had a purpose for us to be in Ireland at that time. Several of our tour group turned to us in the crisis. That night at dinner, although it hadn’t been done at prior meals, the tour guide asked Rod to pray. Ireland declared a national day of mourning, emphasized by a minute of complete silence. When our group gathered for that tribute, the guide looked at us, and said, “Does anyone want to say anything?” My husband and I prayed audibly, as did a retired Methodist missionary who traveled with us. My husband started singing, “God Bless America,” and the others, through their tears, joined the singing.
During the remainder of our visit, we comforted those who were concerned about their families at home. Others sought us out to talk about things of the faith. And even the guide who was not a Christian questioned us concerning our beliefs. Without doubt God placed us in Ireland at that time so that we could encourage some of our fellow travelers, whose faith was weak or nonexistent. While we were helping others, our faith was also strengthened. Our experiences confirmed that God will use us as His chosen vessels when we’re obedient to His leading.
Whenever incidents come into your life causing you to question the wisdom of God, remember that He’s also called you to be His witnesses “to the uttermost part of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8b KJV)
Irene Brand began writing inspirational novels in 1984. Forty-five books and over 2 millions copies in print, Irene still holds to her grass roots, of faith, family and friends.
Irene and her husband live in rural West Virginia. Her newest book,
Love Finds You in Valentine, Nebraska next month.