In my last member letter, dated June 23, 2011, I wrote that God works out His plan for true Christians, and that “in retrospect, they will understand that God’s Way was indeed the right one.” In fact, they were predestined, before the world began, to be called for salvation in this day and age. God knew them before they were born; He saw them in their mother’s womb; and He was determined to direct their path.
When I look back at my life, I can see now more clearly God’s guiding hands, even though I might not have seen them at first. As a Church member in Germany, I became more and more frustrated with my studies of man’s law. As a consequence, I did not perform very well at that time. The ministry counseled me to continue wholeheartedly with what I had started. When I heeded that advice, I began to do much better—especially on my last test in that particular semester, because I had just “happened” to study the very material the previous night, which I was examined on the next day.
I graduated, passed my first legal exam, concluded my two year practical training and passed my second legal exam, and I began then to practice law as an attorney. But deep inside, I knew that this was not what I had envisioned to do for the rest of my life, and sharing my concerns with my wife, she contacted the German Church Office. Although there was no job opening there, we learned that the Legal Department of the Church’s Headquarters in the USA was looking for a person trained in the law who could help with international legal matters.
And so, my wife, our nine-month old son, and I moved to the USA, originally for two years, to study at the Church’s Theological College and to work for the Legal Department. But our stay would not last for just the two years. In due time, the Legal Office offered me a full-time job and requested that I “take the bar” in the USA and become an attorney licensed to practice here—which I did, just in time to meet the requirements for obtaining a green card (that is, to become a permanent resident), leading ultimately to my naturalization.
Subsequently, while continuing to work for the Legal Department, the Church’s German Work and the TV Department asked me to provide the main voice as a voice-over speaker for German TV programs, and we produced in excess of 100 German TV programs. But when the apostasy in my Church had reached a point which had become unbearable for my wife and me, I resigned and we joined a smaller Church of God organization which was committed to continue in the teachings which we all had learned and believed.
In due time, a split occurred in our new group, and while the majority established their own organization, we continued for a while until the majority revealed that it was determined to merge with a much larger Church organization. Since we—the minority again—were not convinced that that was the right path for us, we resigned, and organized the Church of the Eternal God in the USA. Church organizations in Canada and Great Britain also joined with us. At that time, most did not give us a chance for survival. But we have been in operation for ten years by now, and we have every reason to believe that our existence will continue–as long as God allows us to be of service to Him.
I believe that God has been guiding and training me all along. My training in writing and speaking has helped me in my present task as the presenter of our American StandingWatch and German AufPostenStehen programs; as a writer for the Church’s literature; as an ordained minister, being able to deliver sermons in English and German; and as a licensed attorney, being in a position to help those in the Church who are in need of legal assistance.
Looking back on my life in Germany, how little could I have known where God would be leading me. And quite frankly, when trying to look into the future, I still only “see in a mirror, dimly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Who is to say what is ahead for me in this life, and for my wife and family, my brethren, my friends…
I don’t know. But one thing I do know—and this applies to each and every one of those whom God has called and is calling at this time! When we are submitting to our loving and all-knowing Father and His Son Jesus Christ, we will be led in the way that we are supposed to go. Challenges will come; and our patience and trust may be severely tested. We may have questions without answers. We may not know exactly what we should do. But we need to stay close to Him who does know. We must want to remain clay in the hands of our Potter (Isaiah 64:8). And as long as we want God to train and guide and protect us, He surely will do so (Psalm 139:9-10).