Connecting the Dots in Adversity

October 20th, 2011 · by Tom Stuart · Holy Spirit Aha's, Overcoming, Relationship with God

Can you think of a time when God took a loss, disappointment or failure and turned it into something good?  In my last blog post I introduced the topic of connecting the dots.  It is a game changer because when a person can look back and see God’s hand at work in their life in the past, it gives strength and purpose in both coping with the present and facing the future.

It is my conviction based upon the Scriptures that God’s hand is upon every individual even from before their birth. (Psalm 139:13-16)  Our parentage, given name and early childhood all have the imprint of His loving intention and care.  In my last blog I posed a question to help each of us begin to connect these early dots of life and shared some of my personal reflections as an illustration.

Here now is a second question to help serve as an aid in connecting the dots of adversity in our lives.

2.  Looking back can you think of a time when you were forced to do or experience something that you would not have chosen but in the end it turned out to be a great blessing?  Given some time to ponder this question you are likely to discover some amazing ways in which God’s hand has been upon your life when you least expected it.  This is what it means to connect the dots of life.

Gaining such a perspective usually requires the passage of time and prayerfully asking for God’s help. 

For instance, it wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized my suffering a broken leg as grade schooler is what God used to pay my way through college.  Easter weekend of my fifth grade year I severely broke my right ankle climbing over a picket fence.  I thought the world had ended with my having to endure the summer hobbled with a hip to ankle cast.  I hated using crutches so spent most of my time hopping around the house and yard on my left leg.  Healing finally came and two years later I was excited to go out for the junior high track team.  Initially I was frustrated as I tried and failed at all the different events from sprinting to the shot put. 

But then I was relieved to discover that I had talent for the high jump.  My coach was relieved too and marveled at the unusual ability I had for jumping over the bar by leading with my right leg and jumping off my left leg.  Long story short, four years later I ended up setting the state high school record and was offered a full track scholarship to attend college.  Looking back now I can see how all that hopping while carrying a heavy cast was the perfect exercise to produce a high jumper.  It is a hallmark illustration in my life of God proving Himself faithful to me through hardship. 

I hope that as you take time to think of difficult circumstances in your life that God transformed for good you will also be coming up with your own connecting the dots stories.  When I polled the congregation in my Connecting the Dots sermon last Sunday, 87% indicated they could remember a time when a bad experience turned out to be a blessing.  What about you?

I would love to hear your hallmark story.  Please post it as a comment.

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