With pages still fresh with ink I finished the study of 2 Timothy. What an experience. Any time I study a book of the bible I come away wealthy with riches for life! So many take-aways like, “I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience” and “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind”. I got instructions on how to be His servant, found out that people will actually turn from the truth and accumulate for themselves teachers that tell them what they want to hear, how Paul fought the good fight and unattractive things about a certain coppersmith named Alexander. Then there was Becky who blessed my heart by memorizing and reciting the entire book of 2 Timothy. Such a job well done. I only bearly got through memorizing chapter 1! Sometimes I feel like my brain is full of holes and the words just fall through.
One of my major take-aways happened last night on the final night. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12 that he asked God 3 times to remove the thorn in his flesh given to him by God. He tells us “there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me – to keep me from exalting myself!”. God gave PAUL a thorn? But Paul was a SuperApostle! God saw fit to give him a humbling. Paul would boast about his weakness saying that in his weakness Christ was his strength. What dawned on me, like an anvil falling on Wylie Coyote, was the fact that Paul’s traveling companion through a huge part of his ministry was a doctor! Paul referred to Luke as the beloved physician. Certainly God had given Paul a thorn in his flesh but He also provided a doctor to travel with Paul, to minister to him! I almost jumped out of my seat when that revelation set in!
Often I wonder about what God did not let us know. I am very curious about the people in the Bible. I want to know everything I can about them before I meet them in heaven. I want to tell them I studied their lives and how much they influenced mine. What actually happened on the ark? Could they sleep with all of the noise? Was Esther about to vomit before she went to stand before the king? What was it like in the house of Obed-edom when the ark of the covenent was there for three months? Did Mrs. Obed-edom have to remind the children not to play around it? I’ll bet dust never fell on it. I can just see a 3 foot perimeter of very clean encirculing it’s majesty! What was it like for the 70 men having a picnic with Moses and God at the foot of the mountain? I would love to have seen the shocked look on the faces of the priests of Baal when Elijah’s altar fire was consumed. Did they think “uh oh”? What was it like to look in Jesus’ eyes as He forgave your sins or healed you. So many things I want to know! God saw fit for us to know just what He wanted us to know.
I wonder about the rest. It is very fascinating to me. So much so that I have written a fictional story about Simon of Cyrene, the man who carried Jesus’ cross. When Simon got home he must have been covered with Jesus’ blood. Could he even wash it off? People from Cyrene were present in the upper room when the Holy Spirit descended among the people. Was one of those Simon? So many interesting questions. What was it like to be on that road to Emmaus walking with Jesus?
God always provides for His children. He provided a beloved doctor to travel with a man who spread the gospel and fulfilled his ministry. He had His hand on me from birth and provided a way for me to get to church every week when He knew my parents were not interested in taking me. I stood in front of my house and each Sunday a bus picked me up and took me to Sunday School. God always makes a way, especially when there seems to be no way.
What is written between the lines of your life? People see your living novel – the one you let them see. Have they seen God making that way for you? Are you even aware of God’s provision? Are you leaving a legacy for your generations, one that will guide them when they really need it? Fill in the blanks for them. Let them know the good and the bad and how God has sustained you through it all. God bless you as you write your own story. May your future generations see the very fingerprints of God all over the pages of your life.