Tuesday, January 05, 2016

"Beyond Our Control, but Within Our Vision"

Matthew 2.9b-10 “The Message”

“Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!

Being in the right place at the right time is largely a matter outside my control. Sometimes it just happens. Or, does it? Maybe Someone larger than me directs my paths and plans my future. Could there be a Higher Power, a supernatural force, or a personal God who is interested in the affairs of the people He caused to exist? Does a Divine Being control the circumstances surrounding my life? Does He know how my story ends? Does He care?

The “magi from the east” believed in a deity who managed events beyond their control but within their vision. They placed their faith in a God who orchestrated circumstances to a positive outcome. They interpreted the unusual star as a sign of God’s presence and a token of His love. They would follow the star trusting it to lead them to exactly “the right place” at precisely “the right time”. When the same celestial light reappeared and “hovered over the place of the child”, the wise men knew their quest had come to a glorious end. They had found Him who was “born King of the Jews” (Matthew 2.2).

The circumstances that shape my destiny lie largely outside my control, but well within the range of my vision. Wisdom demands that I correctly interpret what I see and take the steps made plain before me. For wise men and women, fulfilling destiny is an achievable outcome.

On New Year's Eve, eight years ago, our wonderful friends, the Harrison’s, joined my family and me for a wine, games, and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2007. As the crystal ball dropped for the 100th time in New York’s Times Square cheered by over a million revelers, I had the unique pleasure of kissing my beautiful wife. I felt a light tap on my leg and looked down to see my then six year old daughter Rachel reaching up with lips puckered. God placed a beautiful, shining little star in my line of vision. She was there to lead me to an obvious course of action. I picked her up and kissed her in celebration of the new year. There was a group hug and lots of smiles. Now Rachel is 14 and our dear mother and wife is in heaven, but I will never forget that amazing evening. 

God led me to that happy place and moment and there I found Jesus among family and friends. I “could hardly contain” myself. I was in exactly “the right place” at precisely “the right time”. Circumstances will change, new friends will appear, children will grow up, and my family will change, but I will continue to follow the star and find Jesus. 

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