by Bethany Hayes

Where were you when you first heard the gospel?

A camp meeting?
A church service?
A long flight and a kind seat mate?

Were you anywhere west of Asia?

If so, you have the providential hand of God in directing the steps of the first missionaries to be grateful to.

The first person to hear the Gospel west of Asia was Lydia, the first convert to Christianity in Europe.

Lydia was actually from Asia.

Even more ironically, the people who shared the gospel with her were missionaries who planned to go into Asia, but the Lord led them to Europe instead.

Sometimes closed doors don’t make sense.
Often the wide open ones don’t either.

For these missionaries, both the closed and open doors left them wondering.

But they obeyed.

And they met a group of women in Europe whose hearts were already prepared to receive the truth.

Lydia was among them and came to Christ.
Next, her household believed.
A slave girl was delivered from demon possession.
Then, a jailer was transformed.
His household believed.
And a church began in Philippi.

From there, the Gospel continued to spread West.
Now, it has gone all the way around the world.

God directs our “steps “. . . and our “stops,” someone once said.

If you heard the Gospel somewhere West of Asia, you have those “steps” and “stops” of God to be grateful to.

We can never determine all the why’s of God’s leading.
But we know this . . . His own, silent answer to our why’s have a greater meaning than we could ever comprehend.  A deeper and more loving meaning than we could ever determine for ourselves.

Steps and Stops of life are God’s prerogative.

Obedience and trust are ours.

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