I recently was rereading a very familiar passage of the Scripture in Matthew 2 - the Christmas Story. I prayed that God would give me fresh eyes as I looked at this chapter again. He did not disappoint!!
Matthew 2 has some very unsettling events occurring. Herod murders little boys, and Joseph and Mary are forced to leave their familiar surroundings in order to save Jesus. What caught my attention was the explanation for these events: So the prophesy would be fulfilled and people would know the Savior had come. That really got me thinking about our lives. I really don't know if we hear prophesies anymore, but I do know unsettling events still happen in our lives! Often, if we let them, those events can point us to God and who He is, and His great plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that He is working ALL things for our good. It doesn't say He is only working good things in our lives. I think we often expect our lives to fall into place because we are following Jesus. If we look at the stories in the Bible, that is far from the truth. So many of the people that God worked through had unsettling events that shaped them and put them in the place that God wanted to use them the most.
I was able to share this truth with my daughter as she was dreading the start of middle school at a brand new school. She was heartbroken to begin this new step without any of her good friends by her side. It was one of the hardest moments in my parenting life yet, to let/make my little girl get out of the car with tears in her eyes. I know that He has a purpose and plan for her in the midst of this challenge, but it was really hard to release her into that plan when it caused her so much pain.
As I was sharing my morning with a good friend, she spoke such wise words of truth into the situation. She said, "You don't want to rescue her from her Story." Oh my, that hit hard! But, she is right. I don't want to stand in the way of what God needs her to experience so she can become the woman He wants to use for His Glory.
How often do we do that in our own lives? We avoid certain situations because they are uncomfortable. We don't take the step of faith because it is too risky. We hide our life story instead of sharing it. In doing so, we miss the opportunity to see God at work.
My daughter could not avoid the unsettling event in her life any more than Mary and Joseph could avoid the events in their lives. But God was faithful to both. For Mary and Joseph, He alerts them when it is safe to return to their home. For my daughter, He has shown up in the form of beautiful butterflies near and around her new school, teaching her to always be looking up for Him.
In both cases, God chose to reveal His love because they were looking for Him in their circumstances. "The Chase" happens when we realize that it is not so much about the what that is happening in our lives, but the Who we walk it with, and the reality that in every moment His love is ours.
April is known as the "Baby Whisperer" because she is ALWAYS holding somebody's little one. She loves babies, but more than that, she finds God in caring for others. Not so long ago, it was she who needed the gift of another's arms to hold a tiny one that she might find rest, and now she loves to give that gift to other new moms. April also finds Him through fellowship with others. Talking about God, reading his Word, and praying with others helps her to experience Him more fully. Walking through this life with God and the people He has surrounded her with makes all the difference in the world.