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Behind the Scenes

Joseph Kwan

There’s always something going on behind the scenes. But sometimes, you can’t see it because you don’t know what you’re looking for. These are the words that resonated with me as I left Maze, a magic show unlike any other, where the magician used the stage as a platform to share his testimony. Since then, I have noticed some all too convenient coincidences in my own life.

I have a high school teacher, whom I greatly admire. He taught me geometry during my freshman year, and to this day he continues to be a great friend and mentor in my life. When I was a senior in high school, I was unsure of just about everything: where I would go for college, my future career plans, and even my faith. I went to thank this teacher for writing me a letter of recommendation, but unexpectedly, I left with John 15:16 written on a yellow post-it note. We had never talked about our faith prior to this moment, but it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time.

Fast forward to last year, on a Sunday service. My church showed a snapshot story about a teacher and coach who reached out to his students. It reminded me so much of my teacher that I felt compelled to update him on how I was doing – how college radically changed my spiritual life and how that verse he shared impacted me. In reply, he told me that he had started a fellowship group back at my old high school and two students had came to Christ through it.

Just a few weeks ago, he told me he was in town and planned to take his son to the UT basketball game. What’s crazy is that I had already made plans to be at that very game even though I would have normally never gone to one. It was truly a huge blessing to witness God bringing us to the same place at the same time after so many years, so that we could continue to be an encouragement to each other. God is always working in the background, and He invites us to pay attention to Him and not just our circumstances.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

John 15:16

I want to share another instance with you. A month ago, I was with my friend when we walked into the parking lot and stared at the empty spot where we had parked. After much distress, we realized that my friend’s car was towed. After making some calls, he told me it would cost $200 to get his car back within the next day, but the price would continue to go up after that. He could not get to that much money within the allotted time, but I had a red envelope, a “hong bao,” with exactly $200 in my wallet. I had received this gift from my aunt for Chinese New Years a few days ago. Normally, I would not keep that much cash in my wallet, but for some reason I did. I could have deposited the money. I could have spent it. I could have done anything with it, but I kept it in my wallet.

In that moment, I knew God was teaching me this: I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and He has placed me here for a purpose, His purpose. It’s easy to say with our tongues that God has a perfect plan, but much harder to believe with our hearts. But praise God that He doesn’t leave us in a vacuum – He’s involved with our lives! When we start to look for Him in our lives, no matter how big or how small, we begin to see our surroundings with much more clarity.

To catch a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes, pay attention God’s activity in your life, and see what He might be up to.