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Posts Tagged ‘making connections’

Like a skillful writer God is constantly weaving events and people into the stories of our lives. Sometimes we don’t even realize what he’s  doing as the interactions unfold, but later as we look back, we realize how richly God has blessed us through the people he brings across our path.

Danny Dog and Eggo the Chihuahua

Danny Dog and Eggo the Chihuahua

Several years ago, we wanted to adopt another dog after our family pet died. I began looking at local shelter and rescue organization sites and found a sweet looking boy named Danny. I think it must have been his name that attracted me along with his beautiful face since my husband’s name is also Dan.

We found out that Danny was being fostered  nearby so  We contacted his foster mom and made arrangements to see him and ultimately adopted him. From the first day we had him, he brought  a lot of joy into our home. End of story? No – not in God’s plan. We became friends with Danny’s foster mom – a wonderful Christian woman – and kept in touch to let her know how Danny Boy was doing. When I needed to go back to work, she gave me a great reference that was instrumental in helping me get  a job in one of the school systems as a substitute aide.

But the story doesn’t stop there.  Our Danny Boy became very ill with a cancerous tumor and died just a few weeks ago.  Our friend was also saddened by his passing. But she knew of our affection for dogs and within a few days had found

Daisy

Daisy

us a sweet Brittany girl named Daisy to foster  to fill the empty spot left by Danny’s passing.  Thank you, Susan, for allowing God to write you into the pages of my story so many times!

I could tell many more similar stories of people whose lives God wove into the story of my life that made a big difference on this journey. But as an added blessing, over the past few years, I’ve begun to hear from people I knew many years ago (Facebook and other social media have made the world a lot smaller!) who have told me how the Lord used me in their lives as well.

We never know how our lives will impact others. Sometimes they are only in our lives for a moment, for one small paragraph. Other times  our paths criss-cross many times, in many chapters.

Take time to remember these stories today and also to thank the Lord  for the richness he has added to our lives through these people. And while you’re at it, let them know how much they mean to you too!

 

*** Shameless plug LOL! Our Danny and Daisy both came from NBRAN (National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network)  For more information on how to volunteer, make a charitable contribution or adopt a beautiful Brit, check out the NBRAN website! Who knows? Maybe God will weave you into the pages of someone else’s book through reading this story?

 

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In preparation for Easter, the youth class I teach started watching one of the early Jesus movies – The Greatest Story Ever Told – which was first1_115304_1 released back in the 1960s.  As the movie progressed, I began to realize something – the teens, especially those who had grown up in church, had a pretty good knowledge of the individual events portrayed in the film. But they didn’t seem to realize how all those stories were connected from the birth of Jesus until his death. It was like a light bulb turned on in their heads as they suddenly saw it as Christ’s whole life rather than just a bunch of unrelated stories!

Think about it – every child who grows up in Sunday School will hear the story of how Jesus was “left behind” by his parents at age 12. They go back and find him engaged in a theological debate with the priests in the temple. The lesson teaches the importance of “being about our Father’s business”  but have you ever wondered why that story was important in the whole picture of Christ’s life?

It’s there because it helps connect the birth of Jesus with his ministry and his ultimate death. Jesus wasn’t just born and never heard from again until he reached adulthood.  The story shows us He was the Son of God throughout his whole life.  But it also shows us that he had to go through  a period of growth and development just like we do to get to the point where he was ready to do God’s business.

Jesus had the knowledge as a young boy to debate with the priests,  but he wasn’t ready to be in full time ministry yet. He had more of life to experience  – like learning obedience and submission to his parents – like we  have to learn submission to God. If he hadn’t become obedient to his earthly parents at that point in his life, who knows what could have happened?

I can picture Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his trial and crucifixion. “Father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” And as he kneels there his mind flashes back to the experience in the temple when he debated with the priests as a 12 year old. He remembers his struggle as he must decide to submit and return home with his parents or to take his rightful place as a Bible teacher. After all, He was the Creator in the flesh and could have easily started his ministry then and there.

BUT HE CHOSE TO SUBMIT his will to the will of his parents. Perhaps that choice some 21 years earlier helped him  to submit to the eternal Plan of salvation as he faced shame and death on the cross. He really could have called 10,000 angels to destroy the world and set him free in that moment.

His life was a journey, like ours – full of individual events and memories. Each one  of these events and memories builds on the one before telling us a little bit more about who we are as a child of God and preparing us for the plans God has for us. We must look at our individual experiences as well as our  whole journey to get the full picture.

What kind of reader are you? Do you  look at the Bible as a collection of individual stories and life lessons? Or do you see it chronologically as a progression of  how God has dealt with man through the ages? Can you see the importance of both?

How do you read the story of your life? Is it a collection of vignettes or a saga of growth and development?

 

 

 

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