Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Have you seen it? Part 1

This is Part 1 of a blog series titled, "Have you seen it?" which refers to seeing God's meticulous and intimate involvment in our lives.

Recently, I attended the homegoing services of my friend's young son, Daniel. As I walked into the auditorium and saw the place packed out...mostly with young college-aged students, it broke my heart. A young man with so much promise, and now he was gone. And whether this young man in his early twenties or my father-in-law who had just celebrated his 80th birthday, it still felt too soon.

And then it was the thought of my friend, Donna. What could I say to her, when just the Sunday before we had stood in this same auditorium and encouraged one another. She especially encouraged my husband since the recent loss of his father as she recounted how the loss of her own mother not so long ago had greatly impacted her.

But there was Donna, standing on the front row, with hands raised in praise to our Heavenly Father. She leads by example.

As the service started, you could clearly see that this was truly going to be a celebration of Daniel's life as friends recounted stories of his life and shared words of encouragement. I was moved so many times, but speaker in particular caught my attention.

Also, a young man, Jeremy Shelby, he shared how he was in shock at the news of the sudden and tragic death of his friend. It was the young man's custom to read a devotional each night before going to bed. But this night his heart was so heavy, he had planned to skip it. However, in his moment of deepest sorrow, he cried out to God to give him a Word that would help him to lift his head up. He was led to read his devotional anyway.

When he opened the lesson, he discovered that the devotional was titled, "Much Beloved" and was taken from the Book of Daniel. NOW...hold up. STOP!! Did you catch that. His friend Daniel was just tragically killed and when he asked the Lord for strength, his devotional reading for the night was taken from the Book of Daniel. But not just any passage in Daniel, but from Chapter 9. Verses 21-23 says, "while I was in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed." If that is not a WOW Moment...I don't know what is!!!!

But if that wasn't enough, the young man went on to read the rest of the devotional which was an encouragement to Daniel while in exile.

But here is the truly amazing thing to me--it is the extraordinary strides that God will go through to minister to His children, to provide for us. He makes plans long before we know what we need, He has already taken care of the details....every little thing. He loves us that much and He is always working on our behalf to ensure that His will is accomplished. God has done it before in my own life, but let me lay it out for you in case you missed it.

1. The young man was in the habit of reading a devotional each night. If you've ever been to a Christian bookstore than you know that devotionals of all kinds are available in multitudes. So first it was his habit, and also, he had previously chosen this particular devotional.

2. Now, if you know even a little bit about publishing....then you know that these kinds of things are put together months and months in advance. So that means...a) an editor had to make that assignment b) the writer had to choose that particular passage and decide to write the particular devotional c) the designer had to place that particular devotional on that particular page in the book that it might be in the right place for Jeremy to read on Sept. 16.

All of this was accomplished by God months in advance so that when his son cried out in pain, "Father God...give me a Word that will help me lift my head" the Word was ready to encourage His son. And then His son was chosen to speak on Daniel's program that he might comfort others. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."

But I wonder today, Have you seen it? Have you seen God's provision in your life? Have you witnessed the tender love and care He has for His own? It is a powerful thing to behold that the Creator of the universe loves you personnally. He hears your prayers and He will answer.
WOW! WOW! WOW! Too much for one you'll have to catch Part 2 later this week.

PHOTO CAPTION: My friend Donna Covington and her son Daniel.

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