When I turned 18, I was given a Bible by one of the leaders of our church youth group. Beautifully bound by genuine leather. My name engraved on the front. This leader was someone I looked up to and admired. Someone I trusted. He lived out his relationship with Christ, and even as a teenage girl, I took mental notes, vowing to one day live the same way. The Bible he gave me during that last year of high school is a treasure that I still use today over 15 years later.
I am convinced that God thoroughly loves creating the orchestra of events in our lives, carefully placing melodies in our early years that He fully intends to incorporate again later in the song. Oh, the opportunities to make it personal are right there in front of us.
I am now a small group leader for kids. I have been for 13 years, and I like to tell them about that Bible and the impact it made on me so they can understand a little more clearly how being kind to a person can chance the course of their life. Currently, I am leading a group of 5th graders who I dearly love, I adore each one of them, but there will always be those few that are particularly special—the ones that you’re certain God put with you for a specific reason. This is God’s orchestra in full force.
Meet Gabriella. She is perhaps one of the kindest girls I have ever known. She comes from a family of 9 children. Her parents are incredible folks. She wholeheartedly loves God and others, and I am positive that He has big plans for her future. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, she shared with me that she really wanted her own Bible that she didn’t have to share with any of her siblings.
At first, I considered it strange that a 5th grade girl with parents who know the Lord did not yet have her own Bible. And then it hit me. With 9 children, her parents are doing all they can to just to feed and clothe their kids. Can you imagine the financial burden of purchasing Christmas gifts for 9? My husband and I have a hard enough time with our 3.
One morning, a couple weeks before Christmas, I felt the overwhelming urge to purchase a Bible for Gabriella. I thought about the tattered Bible that I still use today and how special it is to me. It serves as a constant reminder of an adult, other than my parents, who believed I was worth the investment. Who I am today is largely due to that youth leader and a few other adults that God placed in my life at just the right time. They kept me on track even when I selfishly flirted with veering off.
I asked Gabriella’s parents for permission to purchase their daughter her first Bible. They humbly accepted and thanked me for the gift. I carefully chose the right one, personalized it with a note from me to her, wrapped it in pretty paper, and passed it to her parents to stick under their tree. According to a first-hand account from one of her older sisters, Gabriella fought back tears as she opened up her Bible on Christmas morning. She has not stopped thanking me for the gift. I pray she never stops using it. When we choose to make it personal, we allow the orchestra He has composed to continue its song. And that song reverberates through us, through our few, and through the people that our few will reach for Jesus. What has God done in your life that you can share with your few? What song is he singing through you and to you?
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Written by Ashley Litton