CONNECT THE DOTS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by Ken Bain
A young woman who is a friend to my family has been through an incredible journey of health difficulties. She has been at death's door so many times that her family and friends have lost count. Among other physical problems she has experienced years of dialysis, a kidney transplant, its ultimate failure, and with many more years of dialysis that will likely continue for her whole lifetime. One might expect to fit into the role of encourager when talking to her. Think again. Her incurable optimism is infectious. It is borne out of persistent dependence upon the Faithfulness of God. Instead, she is the encourager!
When I spoke with her recently, as missionaries in remote Native American lands, my thoughts were fresh from wondering where our next tank of gasoline might come from. To make matters worse, I had just calculated that our Ministry would likely use almost 2500 gallons of fuel this year. But the subject of our conversation did not focus on our ministry needs and concerns.
Yet she concluded by saying, "just hang in there and let God connect the dots." She may have sensed the unspoken "huh?...", that wondered across my mind. It seems that when another friend was driving her to the hospital...which happens at least three times a week...she related, "A Christian's life of faith is like a child connecting the dots." Her faithful friend explained. "It is like a child's coloring book. You just have to connect the dots, and then the hidden picture appears."
That simple illustration of "child faith,"...or as the Bible says, "from faith to faith"...made its way through the twists and turns of my storehouse of remembrances.
I've done a lot of drafting work. My dad, whose rural poverty a century ago limited him to the 3rd grade, taught me to draw by making dots where the corners should be ...and then to... connect the dots. When I was eleven I drew the designs and basic plans for our new church building after the old one burned. (Our friend's father helped officiate my mother's funeral there, not so long ago).
Some years ago I was honored by being given a position of the management of an engineering department, in spite of the fact that my formal training was limited to one semester of "Mechanical Drawing" ...when I was a freshman in high school. It was there that my teacher Dallas Rea once told me, "Well Bain, if you're going to make the dots, at least try to hit them with your lines."
So Lord...show me where the next dot is. I'll do my best with the grace you've given to make my line hit the dot.
I can't wait to see how the picture turns out.
"The great thing is that God already knows what the picture is and we will see what He sees if we connect them in His way and (hardest for me) in His time. I always have to remember that the picture might not be what we think it should be, but it is the best one ever because it is His. He is just letting us help Him draw it. What amazing colors He uses!"