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Just because your house burns down doesn't mean you are abandoned by God. He is mysterious and His plans are always at work. My whole family learned a powerful lesson about Acts 17 the year my sister's house caught fire.


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When Finding a Lost Sheep Means Your House Burns Down

Just because your house burns down doesn't mean you are abandoned by God. He is mysterious and His plans are always at work. My whole family learned a powerful lesson about Acts 17 the year my sister's house caught fire.

I have two  missionary friends who have suddenly found themselves with no options left to them.  From circumstances beyond their control, they have had to return to the states.  Each one only served in the field for a few months.   Prayerful dedication to spreading the Word had prompted their initial decision to serve.  Months and years of preparation was at stake.  What happens when God says, “Change of plans, my child.”  What happens when God moves you?  When He changes your location? Your job?  Your church? Sends you to a hospital room?   When the move is inevitable but YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO GO!  What do you do?

You go.

This prompts me to remember  the time my sister’s house burned down.  She was forced to move…to relocate.  I can’t wait to tell you this story.

It was an insatiable thirst and restless dreaming that saved her life.  She woke up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and heard the fire crackling downstairs, woke her family, called the fire department, and then stood across the street watching the fire and water take all of her material possessions.

I want to pause in my story to unfold a scripture for you.  My sister’s story is Acts 17:26-27 lived out in the flesh.

God began by making one man, and from him he made all the different people who live everywhere in the world. He decided exactly when and where they would live.

 God wanted people to look for him, and perhaps in searching all around for him, they would find him. But he is not far from any of us

I love the word “exactly” in the Easy to Read Version.  It shows the meticulous detail God takes in our location and relocation.  In my sister’s story, the relocation was to a certain God-picked rental house while construction on the burned house began.  Coincidence?  Not according to this verse.

Okay y’all, this is my favorite part.  As the title suggests, there was a sheep to be found. His family lived next door to the rental house.  The man next door was suffering with liver disease  and unbeknownst to him did not have long to live.  He was a skeptic at first, full of hard questions. But my brother-in-law and sister led him to Jesus, and he was baptized in the hospital just days before he died.  He left behind a wife who had also committed her life to Jesus.   She continued to study the scriptures with rejoicing because of the salvation that had come to their household.

Here is the moral to the story.  The shepherd will do anything to get to a lost sheep.

ANYTHING.

Putting us in the right place at the right time is one of God’s specialties.  I love verse 27  from the  New English Translation, stating God’s motivation for deciding where and when we will live.

…so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

The word “grope” is such a visual word.  It reminds me of a classic scenario in the movies.  You know the one where the very near-sighted guy trips and his glasses are knocked off.  We, as the audience, can see where they have fallen, just out of reach.  All the while the blinded character is groping, groping, knowing there is danger, but unable to see…  All it takes is for someone who can see, to nudge the glasses into the path of the searching fingers.

Spiritually, all it takes is for SOMEONE who can see, to nudge the glasses into the path of the searching fingers.  That Someone is God, nudging you, the glasses, into the path of the one groping.  Be the glasses y’all.

Just because your house burns down doesn't mean you are abandoned by God. He is mysterious and His plans are always at work. My whole family learned a powerful lesson about Acts 17 the year my sister's house caught fire.

 

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