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Friday, June 22, 2007

I know, it's been a really long time since I updated this blog. I've been gone for almost a week. God opened the door to a couple of speaking engagements in Georgia last week and I took the family down for a little fun as well. Got to do the new Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coke and, of course, a Braves game. One jam packed day. Then spoke a couple of times at Grady Hospital in Atlanta and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. I love having the opportunity to bring good from bad. The tragedy that came on my family in 2004 could have been handled in a whole lot of ways. I thank God that He is giving the kids and me this opportunity to encourage others and bring Him glory. It reminds me of the life of Joseph and this key verse from his story:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 NIV

Isn't that a cool thing? Satan--nasty, vile, dark enemy of all people--wanted to bring me and my family down. By doing so, he hoped to destroy the ministry God had put me in and to bring down others who watched my life. But Satan has this major flaw in most of his plans. He always forgets the "God-factor." You see, every plan of man (and Satan) is in the hands of God. He can use it, change it, rearrange it or do away with it altogether. The day Satan attacked my family, God was looking years ahead to see all the good that could come from that event--"the saving of many lives." Not saving in the sense that my life is bringing anyone the salvation that can only come from God but saving in the sense that what God is doing in my life and in my family's life can offer hope and change and progress to others.

I got engaged last week! News to some of you but not to others. A perfect example of God at work in my life.
I spoke at two different hospitals this past week and encouraged hundreds of health care professionals regarding their role in our communities. God at work.
I write a blog that people actually read that offers encouragement, affirmation and hope to others. God at work.
I get phone calls and e-mails on a regular basis from people who are going through hurt and loss, asking for some sign of hope in their life. God at work.

And in all these things, God is working to save another person's life from the enemy. It's changed my outlook in so many ways (that verse). As Americans, we are prone to sit and pout about the "bad things" that can happen to us--bills too high, life too hard, schedule too busy, looking for satisfaction. Maybe, just maybe, God is looking to save someone else through you and how you handle your difficulty. After all, the testimony of your life is not about how good it was but about how good God is. Your life was meant to point others to a God who can heal any hurt, not lower your taxes. A God who can bring your life purpose, not give you what you think you want. A God who can be your strength and peace in every situation, not take away all your problems. Ask yourself this very important question as you read today: if the saving of other people's lives depended on how you responded to life, would they be rescued or left to die without hope?

To my new friends in Georgia, thanks for a great week, for all your encouragement as we shared the hours together and for all you do to serve God in the place where He has put you. Here's to saving lives...

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Congratulations Ridley!! Steve and I have been reading for a few weeks now and are in awe of how you have come through the tragedy in your life. We have been through many as well and know that God will always work for good what satan meant for harm and that he will give us a story to help others through their pain. 2 Cor: 3-7 Verse 4 is my favorite part"who comforts us in all our troubles (sadness, loss, anger, hurt, sickness) so that we can comfort those in any trouble (sadness, loss, anger, hurt, sickness) with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (perfect, holy, kind, loving, merciful, grace-filled, good, I could go on!)

Steve and I are looking forward to meeting you on the 1st.

Blessings to you and your family,

Tiffany & Steve VanDyke