Sam Collier believes that even in the bleakest of circumstances, God is writing a bigger and more beautiful story for those He loves — and has a purpose and plan for each one of His children.
“God is still in the miracle business. He wants to give you peace, to give you joy, to bring restoration, to bring healing,” Collier said. “He wants to bring blessings into your life. He can take a mess and turn it into a miracle if you let Him.”
Collier, a popular pastor, speaker, and writer who works at Andy Stanley’s North Point Ministries, speaks from personal experience.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Collier shared how he and his twin sister were born into extreme poverty in Augusta, Georgia, to a 21-year-old mother who already had three kids she struggled to feed. The children’s father was addicted to various drugs and “wasn’t really in the picture,” Collier recalled.
Due to her difficult circumstances, Collier’s mother decided to give the twins up for adoption. When the siblings were just 2 months old, a Christian couple expressed interest in adopting them.
“When they came to adopt us, the adoption lady said to them, ‘No, you don't want them. They're probably not going to be much because of where they come from; crack, prostitution, and all types of things,” Collier said.
“My parents said, ‘No, we want these babies,’” he continued. “My adoptive parents had formed a prayer closet, and while praying, God told them that we were their kids and that we would be OK. They decided to listen to the Lord’s voice, and they adopted us.”
In what Collier calls a "Moses story," the twins were raised in a Bible-believing home where they were taught to know and love the Lord.
“Our childhood was wonderful," he said. "My sister got all A's from kindergarten up to 12th grade and got a full scholarship to Georgia Tech and Spelman and became an industrial engineer. As for me, God’s given me so many incredible ministry opportunities, from radio to television, and so many other things.”
When Collier was 25, his dad convinced him and his sister to go on "The Steve Harvey Show" to try to find their birth mother.
“He said, ‘You know what, you could grow up one day and marry your cousin, and you would never know it,’” Collier recalled with a chuckle. “So we weren’t expecting to hear back, but we decided to reach out. A year later, the show called us and said, ‘we think we can help you find your family.’”
Six years ago, the twins appeared on "The Steve Harvey Show." After initially telling the siblings the crew had been unsuccessful in locating their biological family, Harvey surprised them by announcing that they found both their birth mother and siblings. In an emotional moment, he called the whole biological family out onto the set.
“We reunited with our mother, Eleanor, on national TV,” Collier said. “It’s still an emotional moment for me to watch because in that moment, I didn’t know what to feel. I didn't know if I should be upset with my biological mother for giving us up. I didn’t know if I should be thankful that God intervened in our life.”
Collier shares his remarkable story of overcoming feelings of rejection and abandonment and living a life of gratitude and peace in his new book, A Greater Story: My Rescue, Your Purpose, and Our Place in God’s Plan.
He told CP that through various obstacles and challenges in his life, from his teenage struggle with pornography to a crisis of faith, “God was always doing something bigger and better than I could’ve imagined, even when I couldn’t see it."
“Where we decide to look will determine what we see,” he said. “In other words, where we put our focus is where our minds will be. This is why Scripture talks so much about setting our mind on things above, and not on the things of this earth, and the importance of renewing your mind.”
“There will always be challenges,” Collier continued. “The question is, what are you looking at? We have to manage our challenges, but we also have to pursue the opportunities that are in front of us. We have to find God working in the story. It's not about the cards you've been dealt. It's about how you play.”
Scripture is full of examples of God “taking people low before He takes them high,” Collier said, citing the life of Old Testament heroes Joseph and King David, Job, and even Jesus.
“In the midst of the darkness, when their perspective shifted to focusing on God and giving Him the glory, He either gave them the strength to make it through, or He moved mountains, or He taught them a very powerful lesson that they used later on in Scripture,” the speaker and author said.
“We see so many examples in the text,” he continued. “I think the best and worst thing we can ask God is, ‘God, please use me. Please do something great with my life.’ Because the truth is, He’s most likely going to take you low first.”
Collier explained that when Jesus calms the storm in Matthew 8, He tells His anxious disciples: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"
“Jesus was not so much focused on their wellbeing; He was focused on their mentality,” Collier said. "I think God is asking us that in this season. Do we trust Him with our trouble?”
“And we’re in a mess right now, there’s no denying it,” he continued. “COVID-19 is happening, racial tension is at a high. But there’s a greater story available for all of us. No matter where you come from, or what your circumstances are, you don't have to be a victim. Your choices every day will ultimately determine what you become, with the help of God. God can still do great work even in the midst of struggle.”