People often hope to get “lucky” by being in the right place at the right time. While we all probably desire good fortune, depending on luck won’t get us very far. However, if we’ll trust God to direct our steps, He’ll order them perfectly.
I was reminded of this truth a few years ago when my wife and I drove to Louisville to see a high school student named Caroline perform with the Kentucky All-State Chorus. While we love music, our purpose in attending was not necessarily to hear the music, but to support and celebrate her accomplishment. With that in mind, I obviously wanted to personally congratulate Caroline at the concert, but I didn’t know if that would be possible. Finding her wouldn’t be easy, as there were over 500 students performing and over 2000 people in attendance in a huge auditorium. But I’ve learned that God will order my steps, so I just believed that somehow God would work it out for me to see her.
We arrived at the performing arts center slightly before the concert’s start time and had just enough time for a quick trip to the restroom before heading into the auditorium. While I was waiting for my wife, I stepped over by a staircase in the lobby and suddenly heard someone call, “Mr. Jackson.” When I turned around, there was Caroline, the very student I had come to see. Her ensemble “just happened” to be walking through the lobby at the exact moment I arrived in that spot, and I was able to greet her and let her know I was looking forward to her performance.
That incident may not sound like a big deal, but to me it was a strong reminder of how much God cares about every detail of my life. You see, I believe encounters like that don’t just “happen,” but they are coordinated by God. Think about it. What were the chances of our paths crossing at that exact moment? After several hours of packing, dropping off our children, driving, stopping for dinner, parking, and walking, I ended up in the very spot I needed to be at the very moment I needed to be there. If I had arrived just a few seconds earlier or later, I would have missed seeing her.
Indeed, I believe God directs our steps far more than we realize. I’m mindful of an account in the Bible in which Jesus encountered a Samaritan woman at a well and taught her important spiritual truth. It was seemingly a chance meeting, as Jesus had stopped at the well to rest from his journey while the woman had come to draw water.
The interesting part is that the encounter wasn’t by chance at all; it was completely by divine design. Jesus was headed to Galilee, but the Bible tells that “He had to go through Samaria on the way” (John 4:4, NLT). Why did He “have” to go through Samaria? I believe it was just so He would meet the woman at the well. The crossing of their paths was all part of God’s plan.
The psalmist David declared, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (Psalm 37:23). In my experience at the performing arts center, God arranged so many details of my day to lead me to be in the right place at the right time. God will do the same for you! He cares about you, the desires of your heart, and the details of your life. Yes, the Creator of the universe is interested enough in you to coordinate your daily steps.
Your effectiveness as a leader is largely based on the quality of your interactions with other people. The Lord will help you have meaningful encounters and relationships with others if you’ll trust Him. So, let your prayer be as the psalmist’s: “Direct my footsteps according to your word” (Psalm 119:133, NIV). Trust God to lead you every day.
Leadership Lesson: Leaders trust God to help them be in the right place at the right time with the right people.