I never would have thought that a trip to the Gerald Ford Museum would be an inspirational reminder of God’s plan for our lives (and maybe even, dare I say, life-changing?), but here we are. A couple weeks ago, I visited Grand Rapids, Michigan, and one afternoon when I had some spare time I visited the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. It’s located along the Grand River surrounded by walking paths, bike trails, and lush greenery.
I definitely wouldn’t say that I was a fan of the man or his politics, but as a traveler, a curious person, and a lifelong learner, I decided to visit. And I must admit I gained a new perspective on Ford and his presidency.
Gerald R. Ford was serving as the leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives when then-President Nixon appointed him as his new vice president. And then when Nixon resigned (ahem, Watergate), Ford, a congressman from Grand Rapids, Michigan, became president. Without ever even running for the office, Gerald Ford became the leader of the free world because his boss, in essence, picked him to be second-in-line. Ford has gone down in history as being the only person to become U.S. president without winning an election for president or for vice president.
The story goes, after running for Speaker of the House, Ford had even promised his wife that he would retire from politics. And yet, God had bigger plans. After receiving the appointment to vice president, Ford told his wife that it would be a “nice conclusion” to his political career. And yet, God had bigger plans still. How many times have we, too, underestimated God’s plan for our lives? Ford never aspired to be president, but he accepted the charge when it was given and healed the country in a divided time.
As I left the library that day, and in the days since my visit to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, his rise to presidency has haunted me. Gerald Ford had neither outward ambition nor desire to become president. But God had a plan and a purpose for Ford’s presidency—even for the short 895 days that it was. We are often told to dream big, but how often do our big dreams scare us? How many times have we said aloud to someone a smaller dream than the one God has in store for us?
I wonder, in his private moments of hoping to win Speaker of the House, had former President Ford ever thought—but not shared with anyone—it sure would be nice to be president, but I bet it will never happen…? God has a plan for your life. And while it may not be as big as becoming a United States president in an unprecedented way, it’s a plan that is wonderful and will be a blessing to you and others.
I love Matthew 25. It tells the parable of servants being faithful over small things, and after showing their faithfulness, God blesses them with more. Clearly former president Ford must have been faithful over small things, and God blessed him with much more than he was ever expecting.
So, keep moving forward, keep serving with excellence, and keep being faithful over the small things in your life. God has something great in store for you.
Have you had an extraordinary surprise from God in your life? Tell me about it in the comments!Leave a Comment