Michelle Thompson • Early Childhood Director
I am an adoptive mom. I love this role and my two adoptive children are living miracles. It was with them in mind that I started thinking about Bible heroes whose lives also started in non-traditional ways. Please join me this week as we look at some real individuals who had to overcome some pretty substantial traumas to become the people of God that we read about in the Bible.
Genesis 37:1-28; 39:2; 50:16-21
Imagine with me, for a moment, what it would be like to be young and attacked by your older brothers, who rip off your robe and throw you into a deep pit. You know they have evil intentions and hear them planning to kill you. But instead they sell you to slave traders who are headed to a foreign country–a land where you do not know the customs or the language. Imagine the feelings of fear and betrayal. Yet, we don’t read of Joseph having a pity party for himself or declaring that life is not fair. We read that he worked hard and served faithfully and, in the end, God used his position in Egypt to save all of his brothers’ families–the same brothers who sold him into slavery.
Fight the urge to feel that “life isn’t fair.” Make a positive difference for Christ today.
Exodus 2:1-10; 3:10; Hebrews 11:24-28
I am a mother who, like most, would do anything in my power to save the life of one of my children. Moses’ mom saved his life by sending him away in a basket; and God brought him back to her for a time. I imagine her spending long hours during this short time telling Moses everything she knew about the One True God. I imagine her praying over him and telling him how very much God loved him–over and over. Unlike many of us parents, she realized the time she had with him would be short–I think she capitalized on each moment. When Moses moved to the Egyptian palace, the heartbreak for each of them must have been great, but God had much bigger plans for Moses. Moses was adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter and grew up among Egyptian royalty. Can you imagine the advantages he had when, years later, God sent him to deliver a message to the Egyptians? Moses knew their language, their culture, and their religious beliefs. Because of his non-traditional start in life, and his massive faith in God, he was the perfect man for the job of delivering Israel!
When you face tough circumstances, have faith that God can use them for life-changing results.
1 Samuel 1:1-28; 2:18-21; 3:19-21
Little Samuel, the baby his mom begged God for, had one of the most uncommon childhoods I can imagine. But, God blessed both Samuel and his mother for what must have been one of the hardest promises she ever kept–giving Samuel back to God. If we read the complete story, we read of a little boy who, although he was growing up in a very non-conventional way, was obedient and eager to serve. Samuel faithfully served elderly Eli and the Lord, and was blessed with respect from his countrymen and success in his ministry. At one point in his life, he was even used of God to anoint David, the giant slayer, as Israel’s next king.
Who can you serve with eagerness and joy today.
Esther 2:5-18, 20; 4:14
Esther was a true orphan at one point in her life; both of her birth parents had died. We aren’t told the specifics of her parents’ deaths, but we do know that Esther must have suffered incredible grief and probably a significant amount of trauma. But she did not remain an orphan, she was adopted by her older cousin, Mordecai, who raised her as his very own daughter. Esther, like all of us, would have had a decision to make: be bitter and angry, or make the best of her life and love and obey Mordecai. We read in Chapter 2 verse 20 that even after becoming queen, Esther still followed Mordecai’s directions “just as she did when she lived in his home.” There is a lot to be said about learning to obey in the small things on a daily basis and success in the long run. I find it interesting that God thought her obedience in Mordecai’s home was worthy of being included in the Scriptures. Esther is a great example of obedience and willingness to serve, and God used her to save the entire Jewish population of her country!
Make sure your integrity is a priority. Your circumstances are temporary; your character is what people will talk about at your funeral.
Daniel 1:1-6; 6:4, 25-28
Daniel and his family were in Jerusalem when King Nebuchadnezzar attacked. We aren’t told what happened to Daniel’s family, but we do know that he himself was captured and carried off to a foreign country with the other young, handsome royals. If we read the whole story, we see that Daniel was offered “the good life” of a royal in Babylon, but that he instead chose vegetables and water, and prayed faithfully to God. “He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.” This may sound boring, but if you read the first 6 chapters of Daniel, you will see that his life was anything but boring! When he was threatened with being thrown to hungry lions if he prayed–he prayed anyway (just as he had always done). And God used this man’s courage and deep faith to make an entire nation turn to Him!
Are you spending me with the Lord daily, building a solid foundation that will support you in the storms of life?