Amy Patsch Headshot 2021.jpg

Amy Patsch

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I was at the local Acme one recent Tuesday because they are senior discount days, and I enjoy taking advantage of them.  

A lovely young woman was at check-out, so taking my advice to learn more about people around me, I asked her about herself and was surprised she was so open and willing to share.  

She showed me photos of her sweet young boys, told me where she was raised, and included a bit where she is on her life’s journey. I said to her, “God has a path for you.” She did not acknowledge what I said but continued her story. That made me think she may have never considered God being interested in her life - a foreign concept to many people, and maybe even some reading my column.  

I would say to all that if God knows the number of hairs on people's heads (Matt. 10:30) - information which even we don’t know - He is very interested in their lives. The intriguing part is that if that is true, which Jesus said it is, God knows more about us than our parents, spouses and ourselves do.  

I often wonder as I pass people during my day how many are in that number that have no idea God knows exactly who they are and where they are all the time. I thrive on this knowledge that God is watching over my physical and spiritual self. I have learned I am completely safe in His care, and this has been a long journey for me. 

Some people learn easily, but I was never one to sit under authority, even as a child. I was in rebellion a long time before I fell to my knees and acknowledged exactly what I already knew – that God really did have my best interests in mind.  

The amazing part of submission - I readily admit that word used to make my spine immediately stiffen in rebellion - was that I learned what true love is, the love of Father God, all earthly love. Once I experienced and acknowledged that love will be within us and flow through us, I could love people on behalf of God, not because they are good or fun to be around, but because they are God’s creation - people He has specifically created to be in my pathway. That doesn’t mean they are all nice – oh no.  

God said to "pray for your enemies," so obviously some of the people we will meet will be hard to love, but we can do that with God’s love when we cannot do it with our own.  

I once worked for an abusive boss. Being well over 6 feet tall, he used his height to his advantage to intimidate and be abusively overbearing to everyone in his path. He thought nothing of screaming into the phone at his children or even an employee, until his face turned scarlet. The office would become quiet so that all we heard was the enraged screaming from his office and our hearts beating wildly.  

God placed me in that office not for enjoyment or pleasure (obviously as I had come to abhor uncontrolled anger – the type of anger I was relieved from when God took control of my life), but instead, I was there to show God’s love to the people who were in that line of abuse and to even to the abuser.  

As one can imagine, it was a nightmare office, but God assigned me a job, and I followed through with much prayer, study of the scriptures, and subtle counseling of the people in the office. I fulfilled the task I was given, and I knew, even among the emotional blows we received, that God was working to change lives there. 

Years later, after I had moved to another position, I ran into the boss's wife, who told me she missed me. I know it was not me she missed, but the presence of God in me and the peace He brings. 

God works everywhere. I may never know the outcome of my obedience, but I know my God has the perfect plan, so whether that situation was to grow me, the boss, his employees, or all three, I understand God knows the result and it was for His good purpose. 

God grew me during that time of adversity, and He did not send me into that type of situation again, but I knew my mission wasn’t to simply accomplish my work in a fashion that would bring God glory, but also to touch the lives of those God put in my path.  

Possibly, rather might it be that God put me in their path. I can never explain to someone who is like my 20-year-old self what a vastly improved difference my life would have been having submitted my steps sooner to my Creator’s plan for me to become the person for whom He drew His plans - a wonderful, useful, purpose-filled life.  

I missed that life's opportunity, but God redeemed that lost time and allowed me to finish well. All of us see angry people around us – they are hard to miss - but this week, let’s look for those people who seem joyful, not just happy, but content. Take time to ask people what causes their contentment.  

We need to learn from those around us with the attitude and vision of how we would like to see our lives improved, and then take action to meet that goal. May God awaken our hearts and souls this week to see Him in those around us. 

ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. 

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