And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again (Philippians 1:6 NLT).
When I was a kid, we were so mistreated. No one had portable DVD players, iPods, Leapsters, or PSP's. When we traveled we had to settle for coloring books, comic books, and puzzle books. Occasionally I got a treat—a Connect-the-Dots Book. I loved them, especially if the numbers went over a hundred and the picture was detailed and complicated. Connecting the dots became an adventure, it was like dots with a plot.
God must have loved those old books, too. At times my faith journey has taken me from dot to dot and I still haven't seen the connection, but I keep searching. Then, as I get closer to the finish, the secret — the plan — begins to take shape.
Faith means you keep going, anticipating the outcome without knowing it. You don't stop, even when you're not certain where the next dot is, or if there is one. Sound crazy? Maybe it is, from our point of view, but God has a plan; he has a design, he put the plot in the dots.
During her first pregnancy, our daughter Julie discovered she had a heart shaped uterus. After 24 weeks, her first child, a little girl, was stillborn. We all agonized with her loss and shared her grief. But, Madelyn has become more than a memory.
Despite her high-risk womb, within a few years Grant was born. He was perfect and smart and fun and filled with energy. Two years later Garrett was born. He is a sensitive adventurer who is overflowing with curiosity and wonder. The family settled in at four. Everything seemed as it should be, then ...
"In early November," Julie shared, "I had a miscarriage. It was unplanned and I was on birth control, so it was quite the mystery. I had blood work done and was told that it had never been a thriving pregnancy. What this did, though, was awaken in me the desire for another child, specifically a daughter. The daughter we lost left a hole in my heart that I have learned to live with, but this incident seemed to make it more pronounced."
However, when Julie told Scott how she was feeling about another child, HE suggested adoption. Then the story turns an unexpected corner.
"One night," Julie remembered, "putting Garrett to bed, he turned to me and said, 'Mommy, God wants us to pray for a baby that's way too far away.' Wow!"
Then a few days later, Julie was at a bookstore looking for children's books on adoption. The lady in the children's department recommended Little Miss Spider.
Julie said, "I looked at it, carried it toward the check-out counter, but then decided to wait, and put it back. That night at home, I was checking Grant's school backpack. He had library day at school on Friday, and I wanted to see what book he had chosen that week. I pulled the book out, and was amazed at what he had chosen — Little Miss Spider."
Julie and Scott are on the list to adopt a little Ukrainian girl. God has connected the dots. Julie states, "The Lord knew he had chosen us to parent an orphan someday, and he had to refine us first and teach us about grief. The thought of parents who have grieved a daughter being able to take in a daughter who has grieved parents is overwhelming. Only God could devise such a plan and show us the way!"
So, have you found the plot in our dots? Look back on your life searching for flashes of God's hand. Remember, he sees the whole journey, but only reveals flashes to us along the way. So look for his flashes — moments that fit together only now, that make sense only now.
Take your time. I am confident you will be able to see God's hand in your life, flashes of his presence that have shaped you and transformed you, without your knowledge.
Now, your task, should you accept it, is to find the dots in your future and connect them. Find his plot, his story, being worked out in your life. He's not finished with you yet.