Do things always go the way you want them to go? Does life always treat you fairly? Have you ever wondered, What if?
All of those questions remind me of two biblical characters and their life paths – Joseph and Esther. Though their stories are unrelated, the climactic points of each of their lives remind us of valuable God lessons.
For Joseph, whose story is found in Genesis 37-50, he tells his brothers, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:19-20) And in the book of Esther, her cousin proclaimed to Esther, “… And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) We witness two principles in the lives of real people who experienced life’s hard knocks. First, God intended good to come out of their difficult situations. And second, God put them in a specific place at a specific time in order to use them for His good. The same may be true for you; re-read their stories and be reminded of God’s blessings even during the difficult times in life.
Earlier this year Debbie Rippstein, President of Texas Baptist Children’s Home (TBCH), and I met a man who returned to the TBCH campus for the first time in 30 years. This man’s name is JJ and he was placed at TBCH by his aunt at the age of 9. Most of us would think about the circumstances that caused this young man to be separated from his family and we would feel badly for this bump in the road for him. Not JJ! He is the most upbeat person and is so grateful for the four years that he called TBCH “home” as a child.
While we were visiting in Debbie’s office, JJ paused to look out the window and then pointed at the campus chapel. He said, “That is the very place I gave my life to the Lord at the age of 12.” It was really a moving moment as JJ took inventory of the significant places on TBCH’s campus that had impacted his young life and ultimately his life today.
As he reminisced about the days of his childhood, he said, “It’s like this place is frozen in time.” We walked through the cottage where JJ had lived and he talked about the house parents who had such a positive impact on his life. JJ never knew his biological father, but he had a family at TBCH who loved him and guided him. “I had a dad who was my house father,” he said. “Every boy needs the influence of a father in their life.”
JJ attributes so much of his life today to the crucial impact that TBCH had on him. He looks back and sees how God has had His hand upon his life and provided for his every need.
Thank you for investing in the lives of children and families through the Children At Heart family of ministries! Who knows … maybe God is calling you in some way for such a time as this.