Bad beginnings can yield great outcomes
And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 (NASB)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
After a night of wilding out and waking up with a diagnosis termed, ‘selective amnesia’, a dear, dear friend confessed to me that and I quote, “I’m through!”
Seeing this bewildered and confessing look on his face, I was taken and drawn in to his confessed condition.
“What”, I asked wanting to know what had transformed my wild, be-out brother to what now appears to be a humbled, gentle and kinder spirit?
I’ve seen situations that have started out real good only to end up the complete total opposite- real, real really bad. In the same vein I have witnessed things that have been meant for destruction find its way into being an absolute success.
If I were to begin to bring to remembrance stories that are similar to the above mentioned, I am sure that you could probably add to the list, and mind you we don’t have to deal in the biblical era alone.
Let me start with a drunken fellow from the Bible who built a boat that carried more animals than the San Diego Zoo.
I wanted to mention Noah first not just because there are a lot of us who can identify with one of his pastimes that he so much enjoyed, but that God can use a drunk like Noah to replenish His earth.
Noah – A Righteous Man: The human race was over taken by violent behaviors, sleaziness and immorality, Noah was a righteous man. Nevertheless, aside from Noah being a righteous man, he was the only devotee of God left on the earth. The Bible says he was blameless among the people of his time. It also says he walked with God. Living in a civilization flooded with sin and upheaval against God, Noah was the only man alive that pleased God. It’s difficult to envision such steadfast truthfulness in the middle of such Godless people. Throughout Noah’s life history it’s recorded, “Noah did everything just as God commanded.” His life of 950 years, epitomized submission to God’s instructions.
When the lion’s den event happened, Daniel was in his eighties and at that age was still able to teach us something about our own age in an ageless God; we’re never to old or to young enough that God can’t use us.
Daniel worked hard all his life and obeyed God. He rose through the political ranks as a superintendent of this heathen empire. If truth be told, Daniel was so straightforward and hardworking that the other government officials—who were jealous of him—could find nothing to remove him from office.
So they attempted to use Daniel’s trust in God against him. They deceived King Darius into passing a 30-day decree that called for anyone who prayed to another god or man besides the king would be thrown into the lions’ den.
Daniel learned of the decree but did not change his habit. Just as he had done all his life, he knelt down, faced Jerusalem, and prayed to God. The depraved administrators caught him and told the king. King Darius, who loved Daniel, tried to save him, but the judgment could not be withdrawn.
At sundown, they threw Daniel into the den of lions. The king could not eat or sleep all night. As morning came he ran to the lions’ den to see if Daniel had been eaten by the furious lions. When King Darius asked Daniel if his God had protected him, Daniel replied, “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.” (Daniel 6:22, NIV)
One of my favorite stories is the one concerning a reluctant prophet/preacher and the people of Nineveh and God giving them a second chance.
I don’t know your story or all there is to know about you all, but I can find a resting place in the story of Jonah.
The book of Jonah is unlike the other prophetic books of the Bible. Characteristically, prophets gave word of warnings or teachings to the community of Israel. But, God told Jonah to preach the gospel in the city of Nineveh, home of Israel’s most brutal enemy. Jonah didn’t want those evil unsaved people to hear the word of salvation to be saved, so he ran away instead of preaching repentance to them.
Jonah, an obstinate fellow, did just the opposite of what he was told. He went down to the seaport of Joppa and booked passage on a ship to Tarshish, taking him directly away from Nineveh. The Bible tells us Jonah “ran away from the Lord.”
When Jonah ran from the call of God, one of the oddest events in the Bible occurred—the story of Jonah and the Whale.
The book of Jonah highlights God’s patience and loving-kindness, and his willingness to give those who disobey him a second chance.
As I stated I could go on and on with such stories reflecting my life and how things happened and how God is a God of many chances, just take a look at me.
“Dear God you didn’t have to do it but You did. You saved me by placing me in environments that started out with a death sentence, but because of Your Love for me, it was only a place for my development for your services. Thank You Lord, You saved me
IF GOD PUT YOU THERE HE PUT THERE FOR HIS PURPOSE.