But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations (Psalm 33:11 NIV).
When I was a kid we were so mistreated. No one had portable DVD players, iTouches, Leapsters, or PSPs. 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 plot takes 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, Julie discovered she had a heart shaped uterus. After 24 weeks, her first child, Madelyn, was stillborn. We agonized with her loss and shared her grief, but Madelyn has become more than a sad 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 was and is a sensitive adventurer who is over-flowing with curiosity and wonder. The family settled in at four. Everything seemed as it should be, then ...
Out of the blue, Julie had a miscarriage. "It was unplanned," Julie said, "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 whole in my heart that I had learned to live with, but this incident seemed to make it more pronounced."
From the beginning of their marriage, Scott was totally against adoption. It was a personal thing. Julie, on the other hand, graduated with a social work degree with emphasis on adoption. It would take the fingerprints of God for adoption to be a "dot" on their path.
When Julie told Scott how she was feeling about another child, he shocked her. "How about adoption?"
God changes things!
Then, one night, when Julie was putting Garrett to bed, he turned to her and said, "Mommy, God wants us to pray for a baby that's way too far away."
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."
It took months, but now they are five. Young Halle Grace is a thriving part of their family. She came via Ukraine. Julie states, "Only God could devise such a plan and show us the way!"
So, have you found the plot in your dots? The task for this week is to look back on your life searching for flashes of God's hand. Remember, He sees the whole journey, but only reveals dots to us along the way. So look for his dots, moments that fit together now, that make sense 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 watch God connect them. Find his plot, his story, being worked out in your life. He's not finished with you yet. It's His story in your life.
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