Count Your Divine Connections
How your Life Impacts Those around You
I’ve learned that when we walk in faith, we don’t have to “try to make things happen” in our own strength because God knows our dreams, and he will send into our life all the people we need to make those dreams come true. You are someone God has used before, and will use again, to be a connector to others who are in need of His touch in their life. – Barbara
I’VE ENCOUNTERED MANY PEOPLE whose life or work has been influenced or totally changed by meeting just one person or hearing someone utter a few well-chosen words. I’ve had more than my share of divine connections and each one has blessed me beyond measure. I’ve learned that when we walk in faith, we don’t have to “try to make things happen” in our own strength because God knows our dreams, and he will send into our life all the people we need to make those dreams come true.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28/NIV)
This may not happen as quickly as you think it should, but never doubt that God’s timing is infinitely better than our own, and He is the master at working things together for good. He knows when to close this door so that door can open. He knows which people we need in our life, and which ones He doesn’t want there.
Little Miracles and Angels in Disguise
ONE YEAR when Harry was too ill to help me with the business, I had to ship four cases of books ahead for one of my speaking engagements. I hardly had the guts or physical strength to get the books out to the car and then put the heavy hand truck in the trunk besides, but I did it because I had no other options. I’d gotten up that morning dreading that trip and saying a little prayer on the way that maybe there would be a strong fellow I could ask for help getting the cartons out of the car and into the post office.
Surprise. Little miracle. A young woman pulled up alongside me as I was getting out of the car. She looked pleasant (and sturdy). When I asked if she had a good back, she smiled and said sure, so I asked for her help. With little effort we got the hand truck out of the trunk together and then she loaded the cases of books on it and pushed it into the Post Office. Inside, a postal clerk took it around the counter so I didn’t have to lift the cases again and—surprise—on the way out the door, this same woman was waiting for me. She had gone outside, saw my car was still there and was coming back in to see if I needed help with the hand truck, which she then stuffed in the back seat so I could get it out easier once I was home.
I love it when God answers my prayers like this. (I can’t tell you how many times God has placed a “helper” in my path just when my strength was waning or my legs were giving out, or my balance was so bad that day I was a fall waiting to happen. He always knows just when I need an arm for support or help of any kind, and I only have to silently wish for it, and it’s there.)
When I shared the above story with a Christian friend, she related a similar story about people being there to help her and her husband when they really needed it. She recalled how often she had felt well taken care of by complete strangers who later became friends or were just passing through. “Some people just don’t recognize angels in disguise,” she said, “or perhaps they don’t recognize strangers who are ‘touched by an angel’—good hearts, in any case, whoever/whatever they be.”
Perhaps the examples above—just two of dozens I’ve documented in my journals—will help you recognize how God has been working in your life and putting people in your path when you needed them most. I challenge you now to look back on your life and try to see all the people God has placed in your path to date. Think of the most special people in your life and remember how you came to meet them. For example, was it your doing that you met your spouse or the best friend you’ve ever had in life, or did God plant those people in your life either directly, or through someone else or some unique circumstance?
I met my husband through another musician I’d been introduced to by my marimba teacher. I met my best friend through someone who used to give me rides to work. Harry and I were married for nearly 44 years, and I still have that best friend in my life. Talk about divine connections!
Do you have a successful business because of some book you once read, or a workshop you attended where you met a person who changed the direction of your life? Or do you have a great job because you “accidentally” found an ad in a paper someone left on the train or bus, or you met someone who “just happened” to work at that place and got you in the door? If things have happened to you through the years that were things you really wanted, don’t doubt for a moment that God Himself orchestrated the whole scenario. The thing that blew me away after I’d been born again was realizing that God had been giving me blessings decades before I gave my life to Him—proving, I think, that if God has His eye on someone, He will patiently wait for them to come to him, no matter how long it takes.
Once you begin to think in the above terms, it becomes very easy to see all the divine connections God has made in your life and that of others you know. Believe that God has already got the people you need all lined up, ready to put them in your path when He thinks you’re ready for them. And never doubt, either, that YOU are someone God has used before and will use again, to be a connector to others who are in need of God’s touch in their life.
How your Life Impacts Those around You
I’LL NEVER FORGET the impact it made on me the day I heard a pastor on radio talking about the impact we have on others because of how we speak and act. He summed it up by saying that Christians need to be “a sermon in shoes.” This is not a new idea, as evidenced by the following piece of poetry by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959):
“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day,
I’d rather one should walk with me, than merely tell the way.”
So the question is . . . what kind of sermon are YOU giving as you go about your daily life? Always remember how important YOU are in God’s scheme of things—more important than you may realize. If you’ve never given thought before to the significance of your life and how God may be using you as He makes His divine connections, consider these thought-provoking words from Charles Swindoll (Insight for Living), one of my favorite pastor-teachers and Christian authors:
“I wonder if any of us really understands how our life impacts those around us, or those who follow after us. Think about it. Would you attach great significance to your everyday events? Probably not. But your prayer of faith offered to God in that struggle you faced yesterday is changing your life today. The fragrance of your mercy extended to a hurting friend still lingers in that person’s life. And did you know God is using the time, work, and prayer you devote to your Sunday school class to change those young lives? You may not see it. Or feel it. But take my word, God knows it, uses it, and delights in what you’ve done. The ripple effect of your life impacts more than you could imagine! God delights in using your life as it is surrendered to His plan. He takes your small offerings and reproduces them in proportion to His grace. Amazing!”
A few years ago, God introduced me to Chris Irwin and his wife, Nicia, a missionary couple who “accidentally” found me on the web when Chris was trying to help his sister get a book published through Lulu. At the end of Chris’s first email was a quote I strongly identified with:
“More and more I am realizing that life is really about people, not about personal accomplishments. It’s not about what you achieve, but how many you have influenced.”
When I queried Chris about the source of this quote, he said he’d found the first part of it on a Christian website, was moved by it, and then joined that phrase to his own. Think about what is being said here; think about the many lives you have surely influenced in the past. Can you stand back from yourself and take an objective look at how you’re living and how you may be influencing those around you simply by the way you speak, the things you say, and your actions toward others?
Are you satisfied with what you see?
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you
your heart’s desires” (Psalm 37:4 NLT).
Divinely Connected by the Marimba. How Barbara’s grade school choice of a musical instrument led her directly to the man she was destined to marry.