Monday, November 06, 2006

I LOVE it when God does this...

A few years ago the kids and I were reading Jim Elliot- One Great Purpose, a powerful biography of one of the five missionaries martyred in Ecuador in 1956. We got to one part that said, "Sunday, January 8, 1956 was going to be a day to remember, Jim told himself. Since arriving in Ecuador as a missionary in 1952, not a day had gone by that had meant as much to him as today did." We all got shivers as we realized that the "day to remember" would be the day he would be killed. We then got shivers again when we realized that as we read, the date that day was January 8.

Flash forward a couple more years. We were reading another missionary biography, this time it was a biography of Lillian Trasher called The Nile Mother. Lillian Trasher was a missionary to Egypt who started an orphanage and is still highly revered there as her work is carried on. We came to a part that said, "October 8, 1910 is a red-letter day in the life of Lillian Trasher. It had been just four months before that God had called her to leave home and country." It went on to describe her journey, by boat, from New York to the Mediterranean. The date the day we read that was, you guessed it, October 8. Not only that, but we had some dear friends who had left that day on a mission team bound for Egypt. Whoa.

Today as the kids munched their lunch, I read aloud a chapter from Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation. This period in history has been so interesting, and reading about what took place during the Reformation has been especially applicable on the heels of Reformation Day last week. We were reading about the battles that broke out all over Germany as the Roman Catholic imperial forces tried to wipe out the Christian followers of Martin Luther. Gustavus Adolphus, the king of Sweden, left throne and family to come defend the rights of others to worship freely. The chapter built, describing what terrible atrocities lead to this one, key battle. One paragraph in particular dramatically portrayed how "Gustavus fell to his knees and with all his army prayed for God's deliverance from the enemy. The king rose from his knees, mounted his horse, and rode in front of his men crying together, "God with us!" Then, accompanied by the blast of trumpets and the rumble of kettledrums, he led them in singing Luther's great battle hymn, 'A Mighty Fortress.' " The date of that battle? November 6, 1632.

God is so cool.

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