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A Heart For God: No Idea What's Ahead

Saturday, December 22, 2007

No Idea What's Ahead

My grandfather died 12 years ago this coming Tuesday. Yes, that's right. It was on a Christmas day in 1995 that "Gramps" died. And it was 2 years ago on December 25th, 2005, that I first preached the message: "Lessons from the Holy Family," that this 4-part blog post series is based upon. (Read Part 1: A "God Thing or Part 2: Marriage Made in Heaven or Part 3: The Least Likely Place.) And since it was just such a significant anniversary then, having been 10 years ago to the very day that the phone rang with my dad on the other end saying his dad was gone, I reflected on the moment. And what I said in that message (and what I say again today) is I had no idea the twists and turns my life and my wife, Kim's life would take since then. ******* And just like the holy family of old, Joseph and Mary (by the way, "Gramps" real name was Joe and his wife, my grandmother "Dodd's" name was really Mary, too - no lie!) - and just like the holy family of old, Joseph and Mary and Jesus, from that first day around the manger, they had no idea what was ahead. Right? And they would have all these visit them - the shepherds and then the wisemen two or so years later. Certainly there were joyous moments. But then there was also how they'd have to escape to Egypt in the dead of night. Can you see Mary trying to gather up enough diapers with Joseph saying, "We gotta go. We gotta go now," since a king was after their son's throat? "Whatta ya mean? Why would Herod care about our little boy?" Because the devil knew who Jesus was. That's why he did. ******* And then all the other times throughout those years. ******* And Joseph would die. And then Mary was a single parent. Did you ever think about that? Jesus was raised in a single parent home for a time. ******* But then all the way up and until - there Jesus is hanging on a cross. Who would have thought all these things would happen? I thought a Christian would never have bad things happen to them. ******* But just like Joseph and Mary and Jesus, here Kim and I, with our kids are - now it's 12 years later (versus 10). And the holy family went through all that. And we've gone through what we've gone through. And you're sitting whereever you are reading this post right now having gone through many ups and downs, too, in this same time period as us. And can you agree with me? God's been faithful through it all and sustained us (and you!) just like He did the holy family long ago. And though we've had to deal with both good times and bad, God's still been faithful. And I'm convinced we're the better for what we've experienced and will be from this day forward whatever lies ahead. It's the final lesson from the holy family: We have no idea what will come our way, but as long as we have the Lord, we're gonna make it. And Joseph and Mary and Jesus have made it already. And Kim and I and you, the last 12 years have passed and here we are still by God's grace. And He'll see us through to the other side. Believe it. And have a merry Christmas, everybody.

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