Gilberto Corredera: Learning to Trust God’s Surprises

Alaina McLemore

August 10, 2023 | 2 minute read

Life is full of surprises and decisions. They come in all shapes and sizes – the good, the bad and the ugly (although we all wish we could just filter to the good ones, right?). 

Gilberto Corredera knows all about life surprises and decisions. In his I Am Second film, Gilberto describes growing up in communist Cuba where belief in God was considered a waste of time. He dedicated his life to being self-sufficient and making a life on the streets. 

In his late teens, a friend introduced him to God’s grace and the Holy Spirit began working on his heart, drawing him closer until he eventually gave God control of his life – the first surprise God had planned for him.

Gilberto grew in his spiritual journey and began to share the grace of God with his close friends. He was able to build a life, career and family he loved. Then God had a second surprise for Gilberto – he made a way for them to move to the United States. 

Although he never had plans to move to America, he prayed that he could give his family a better future and continue to preach. This surprise, however, came with a humbling twist... The only job Gilberto could get was as a dishwasher. 

It’s at this point that a lot of us would start questioning God and our choices: “Did I understand this opportunity correctly? Did I make the right decision? Would we have been better off staying where we were?” 

Sound familiar?

Making life decisions is scary and difficult, especially when it looks like it’s not going to work out the way we planned.

When this happens, we have two options: Try to undo what we’ve done and go back to the comfortable way of life, or stay the course and trust God to continue to carve out the path before us. 

Going backwards is tempting because at least we know how to deal with those situations or relationships because we’ve dealt with them before. We start devaluing what we’ve always wanted or our abilities to achieve those goals to make ourselves feel better about going backwards. We’re tempted to think, “That job wasn’t that great and I probably wouldn’t have been happy there.” It’s easier to turn to what we know and justify our decisions than it is to embrace uncertainty and go for it. But always remember this, going backwards is just that – backwards. You can stay still and stay stuck out of fear, or you can follow God’s prompting and trust that he will equip you for the next steps.

For Gilberto, washing dishes was actually very humbling. It wounded his pride, made him question his future and was a really difficult time in his life. He could’ve given up. He could’ve shaken his fist at God and told him that he was on a better path and reaching more people back in Cuba. He could’ve gone backwards and gone back home, trusting in the comfortable familiarity of his old life. But he stayed the course. He followed God’s surprises. He allowed himself to be humbled; and instead of despising it, he embraced it. And God used him where he was. He not only used him where he was, but he started taking him beyond that small kitchen and influencing people from multiple countries. This tough situation was actually a training ground that God used to teach Gilberto how to connect with people beyond his close friends and comfortable sphere of influence. People that Gilberto never would have reached if he had stayed in Cuba or gone backwards out of fear.

What comes as a surprise to us is part of God’s plan all along. We often want to skip the bad parts of life, but that’s where God grows and prepares us for that next step. If we do our best to keep moving forward, in our hearts, minds and environment, God is faithful to not let one second of pain be without purpose.

Alaina McLemore

Alaina McLemore

Alaina McLemore is the Technical Copywriter for e3 Partners/I Am Second. She has years of experience in agency and in-house environments and a strong expertise in creative and technical writing. She resides in Texas and enjoys music, reading, traveling to the beach and all-things British.

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