Monday, November 28, 2011

What God Arranges - Mark Barrentine

This is Mark's 2nd post in the Fire Bowl (read the 1st one HERE)

In Eugene Peterson’s The Message, Galatians 3:11b states, “The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him.” I think this statement sums up the current Fire Bowl topic beautifully. 
At the beginning of this year, I took a test to become a supervisor at work. After passing the written and oral portions of the exam I placed 3rd on the hiring list. I was in excellent shape to be promoted, because there were 4 open positions. Administration interviewed the top 7 individuals on the list. 
Well, I was not selected. As a matter of fact, I was jumped twice to hire number 4 and number 6! I was very upset. I began to suspect some sort of conspiracy. I racked my brain wondering what went wrong and why administration didn’t “like me?” I became bitter and disgruntled. I kept telling myself, “There’s a reason for everything.” But I didn’t really accept it.
Shortly after the promotions were made, my wife got real sick. Her illness required me to take off several days from work. My wife really needed me. Not just as moral support, but on a couple of occasions I had to act as her advocate to be sure her voice was heard. After a couple weeks she recovered, and I was able to return to work.
A couple months later, I was pondering the promotions again and asking God why I hadn’t been promoted. I explained to Him how embarrassing it was to have been passed over twice. I shared with him how desperately we could have used the raise. I told God how upset I was with the arrangements He was making. Then our most gracious and loving Father reminded me of my wife’s illness. I was able to see, that if I had been promoted I would have been unable to take the time off that my wife needed me to take in order to care for her. And quite possibly, I would have been away at Supervisor’s school when she suddenly got ill. He did not grant me favor with the decision makers, so that I could be the man and husband He created me to be in a very crucial time.
I have a new found respect for how God arranges things, and a greater desire to embrace those arrangements. I am still slow on the uptake, but He is patient.
Peace and all good, my friends.


  1. Thanks, Mark.

    God bless all of us who "slow on the uptake". His patience is astounding.

  2. Good story! God knows all, and has the love for us enough to deny our requests at times. Thanks for sharing, Mark! I didn't know this happened. Peace!

  3. Well, Mark, I just want you to know that you wrote that anecdote specifically for me. Thanks, man.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Dear Anonymous: I have deleted your comment as the author of this post is definitely not the man you are concerned with. Different state and definitely not involved with the institution you mentioned. If you have any further questions, contact me (the host of this blog) at my personal email address: