“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
Where I am now is not where I would have planned fifteen years ago, but cliché as it may seem, where I am is much better than what I could have asked for or imagined. – Dano Jukanovich, Faithful Is Successful
At one of these home church meetings a spiritually gifted guest offered a word about me in absentia. He told my parents that God had plans for my life. He said that I would go a lot of different ways and do a lot of different things, but that somehow God was going to tie the pieces of a diverse and prodigal life together for His glory.
As I have lived out my life (I am a 42 year-old lawyer turned missionary in Uganda) I have seen this prophetic word come to pass in amazing ways. Over and over again God pick up pieces from my past and puts them to His use. I am often in awe to see how God orchestrates my life. At times life plays out like a surprising—yet carefully composed—symphony.
But how unique is my own personal experience? Were the prophetic words spoken about me actually words of general truth?
Reading Dano Jukanovich’s chapter from the recent book Faithful is Successful leads me to reflect on God’s promise to work out all things for good for all those who love him.
Dano’s story is one where the pieces of his life have fit together in amazing and inspiring ways. Dano can speak to God’s providence that has led him through several seasons in life up to his present post in Kingdom-building corporate finance in Rwanda. Dano shows us that God had a crazy/awesome plan for him. Dano teaches that if we trust God with big decisions we can be amazed in how He can use us.
As I think about God using the pieces of our lives, I am struck with the importance of seasons (or to use a symphonic term—‘movements’). For God to use Dano, Dano had to be willing to enter new seasons. Like the rich young ruler, Dano had to be willing to step out of his established comfort zones. Unlike the tearful ruler, Dano was willing to follow the Lord’s leading.
A willingness to embrace gives God the chance to demonstrate his providence, faithfulness and love. If we are willing to transition in response to God’s leading we can rest assured that He will use us for good. And sometimes, as is the case with Dano, God actually allows us to see the good He does through us.
Before concluding, let me offer a few words of caution about seasons. First, Dano’s story has an upward trajectory and an impressive destination. However, for many of us life will be more discursive and less interesting. We must fight discouragement if we do not see God using our own faithfulness in such exciting ways. Second, it is important to note that Dano did not jump hurriedly and haphazardly from job to job. Instead, Dano spent quality time in his stations in life. The pacing of Dano’s life is a good lesson to those in a rush to move on to more exciting and extreme experiences. We need to remember that seemingly mundane seasons can bear amazing fruit.
Has God given you a chance to see a glimpse of “symphonic providence” in the way He has used your life experiences?
Can you think back on the seasons of your own life and reflect on how God was forming and equipping you during each season?
Almighty God . . . deliver us in our various occupations from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ . . . Amen.
-from the Book of Common Prayer
Jukanovich, Dano. “Full-time Life.” Faithful is Successful: Notes to the Driven Pilgrim. Nathan Grills, David E. Lewis, and S. Joshua Swamidass, eds. Denver, Colorado: Outskirts Press, 2014. 36-54.
Brian Dennison is the Manager of Faith Learning and Service at Uganda Christian University where he also serves as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law and Coordinator of the Clinical Legal Education Program.
Brian holds a Bachelors Degree, a Masters in Business Administration and Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining Uganda Christian University, Brian practiced law in Savannah, Georgia. Brian is pursuing a PhD in Private Law from the University of Cape Town.
Brian, his wife Mary Jane and their four children have been in Uganda since 2008. They are missionaries with SAMS USA.