It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.
What a snapshot – God remembering his relationship with Ephraim in their youth. Linger on it with me a moment in order to savor the emotion captured in these few words. Today, were Ephraim to look back on those moments, what would they say?*
In the living room of our home, photos and scrapbooks of family and friends populate one side of a large sideboard. There’s a photo of mom and me at a diner in Michigan. As I linger over that moment, I am reminded not only of that special lunch date, but of events a year earlier. January, the year previous, my Dad passed, and not too long before, I had learned that my own husband’s cancer was terminal and our time together was waning. My mom put my dad’s funeral on hold for 3 months so she could come and help our family through a horrific time.
I smile as I notice a framed picture of my sister-in-law, Carlene and I standing in our Christmas finery soaking wet in front of a Christmas tree, laughing. We were together celebrating the birth of Jesus for the first time without my husband, her brother. My son was in a hospital in Atlanta Georgia learning how to deal with the magnitude of the changes to his life. The picture of our family had altered greatly – even then, we were laughing! Amazing.
I scan the table and find a small album, within it are photos capturing the events significant in getting to know and love the man I now share my life with in marriage. Those images remind me of a year where he drove 2 ½ hours from Richmond almost every Saturday so we could spend time together. His determination won my heart!
Each of the images on the sideboard capture not only significant events with people, but precious memories – gifts in time with God.
God saw my heart and the grief and anguish that gripped as I watched my husband slowly dying. He saw our immense struggles as our 15 ½ year old son with autism lashed out in anger and fear. God knew. So he sent my Mom.
To finish the story of that first Christmas with Carlene – she discovered a relationship with Jesus the summer before. As her brother lay dying, her life was just beginning. That first Christmas was certainly filled with its own grief, but entwined in the grief was an amazing celebration of new life, and the new bond we now shared.
As I peruse the album of our courtship, I am reminded that God brought Gary and I together, and I’m reminded of all he did to draw us to one another as that year progressed. God’s fingerprints were all over our beginnings.
I love sharing these stories!
We often make sharing our faith seem so complicated, yet Jesus designed it to be so simple and beautiful. My sharing these “snapshots” – each a representation of a chapter in God’s story for me, are the beginnings of sharing my faith, introducing Jesus to someone in my world who has never met him, or who has never met him as he really is.
Today, if we have already met Jesus, let’s look at the “snapshots” in our own lives, stopping long enough to gaze upon and ponder those significant moments where Jesus entered our own world and changed things forever, by grace. As we ponder and remember, let the beauty of those moments wash over us afresh – and then ask God for someone with whom we can share the story.
If you have never met Jesus, I’m delighted to introduce him to you.
Sharing your faith is…. Simple. Beautiful!
*Note – Ephraim was one of the tribes of Israel, whose history is recorded throughout the Old Testament of the Bible.
If you want to know more about Jesus, or about sharing your faith, please contact me below!
With love and prayers,