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Connecting The Dots

Connecting The Dots
I Only Know That God Is In Control

For it is written:  He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you, Luke 4:10 (NKJV)

I remember drawing these pictures on a piece of paper as a child by connecting the dots on the page.  I always thought it was cool how you could simply draw one line and connect it with another dot and follow the number sequence.  In the end you would instantly have a picture of some animal or a person.  I think the object was twofold.  In one aspect, a child could work on their number skills, while at the same time they could be doing a craft or foster their artistic abilities.  

I don't do those actual pictures on paper anymore, but I do find I have a tendency to continue to apply the practice of connecting the dots.  It can be when I am trying to solve a whodunit type show, or in just about any conversation for that matter.  I can listen to the person speaking and begin to put a picture together within my mind as I connect the dots of information given, and I can often see the picture before I have been given all the information.  

Unfortunately, there are times when this practice of connecting dots is a hindrance in my Christian walk.  I can see something bad happen, or maybe a few bad things and my mind wants to connect the dots and make a picture of gloom and dread.  I think this happens with most of us at some time or another, as we can tend to allow our mind to wander when trials come our way.  The "what if?" questions start to surface and we can quickly connect the lines to dots that don't even exist yet.  Before you know it, we are surmising and worrying about things we don't even know to be true about our future, and we have created this scary picture.

The point is that we don't know what God has planned - we just need to trust Him, have faith, and not try to figure everything out.

There is a story by Max Lucado titled, The Wood Cutters Wisdom and it illustrates this point very nicely.

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before - such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.
People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. "This horse is not a horse to me," he would tell them. "It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?" The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.

One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him. "You old fool, they scoffed, we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you've been cursed with misfortune."

The old man responded, "Don't speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I've been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?"
The people contested, "Don't make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse."

The old man spoke again. "All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don't know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can't say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?"

The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn't, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.

After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn't been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. "Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us."

The man responded, "Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don't judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?
Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is a fragment! Don't say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don't."

Hey Christian, we can learn a lot by this story.  We don't know what God has planned for us while we are here in our temporary body.  We don't know the outcome of every trial, or potential change of fortune that will come upon us.  What we do know is that God is in control, and this is the only dot we should be connecting our problem to.

Jesus said it best when he said this.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional about our potential problems?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you trusting that God is in control and will guide you through every issue?  

APPLICATION: If you have trusted God with your soul and your eternal life, shouldn't you trust Him with your temporary problems in this short time on Earth?

Father, Thank You for Your protection of my life.  Thank You for helping me and guiding me through the tests, trials and temptations I face.  Help me to walk through these times and to take the proper path.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000