A Niagara of unexpected kindness

By Dave Henning / November 23, 2023

“The fugitive had not been abandoned.  The trickster had not been cast aside.  God committed himself to the lifelong care of Jacob. . . .  There is, thus far, not one mention of Jacob in prayer, Jacob in faith, or Jacob in the earnest pursuit of God.  Even so, God drenched his undeserving fugitive with a Niagara of unexpected kindness.”- Max Lucado

“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance, and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”-Romans 2:4 (ESV)

Max Lucado concludes Chapter 3 of God Never Gives Up on You with the story of William Vanderbloemen.  William played on the golf team of the prestigious Wake Forest University.  In addition, Wake Forest fast-tracked him on an MBA program.

But William drank too much and experimented with drugs.  As a result, he violated team rules, putting his scholarship in jeopardy.  Despondent as he walked alone on a dirt path in the woods, William saw Jesus.  Jesus told William it was time to come home.

Consequently, William found a spiritual mentor.  Also, he changed his major from business to theology.  Above all, William served for decades as a minister.  Today he directs a job-placement organization.  It serves churches and non-profits worldwide.

In conclusion, Pastor Lucado observes:

“The vulture pecking at [Jacob’s] joy was reared in its own nest. . . .  He thought he’d lost it all, but in actuality he’d found it all.  He found a heavenly Father who found him first. . . .

Jacob turned his pillow into a pillar and renamed the place of his pain.  The stone pillow, a symbol of all he lacked, became a holy pillar, a memorial to all he found. . . .

The promise of the Jacob and Bethel is this: the Lord is in the wilderness, in the despair, in the misery, mess, and mayhem, and in broken hearts.  God will meet you in this unwanted and unwelcome waypoint.”

Hence, your barren land becomes a place of worship.  So you, too, know that the Lord’s present in that place.

Today’s question: When has God drenched you with a Niagara of unexpected kindness?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Transactional theology”

About the author

Dave Henning

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