Friday, August 31, 2012

Suddenly, Unexpectedly, In an Instant

A Devotional by Terri Lister & Margot Cioccio

Isaiah 48:3
I foretold the former things long ago, 
my mouth announced them 
and I made them known; 
then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.

Terri in the Palace of Knossos, Crete, Greece
I love it when I am sitting in my chair in the morning and wondering what to write and I feel led to go check my facebook and then find there the inspiration for the days post. Today has been one of those kind of mornings. My friend Terri wrote the following in response to yesterdays post. She even posted a few photos of some of the places she has gotten to see with her own eyes. So her comments have become the bulk of todays post. I know you will be blessed by what she has to share. So you are not confused I will be the bold type and she will be the regular type. All the photos in this post are from Terri's personal collection of things she has seen with her own eyes.

Dear Margot,
I have been thinking about this today, I have so many its hard to know where to start. "Suddenly" or as the dictionary says, "unexpectedly". I do have one I will share with you. Like many people I always watched the documentaries
This one is the Corinth Canal
about the ancient lands of Greece and Egypt , about the travels of the Apostle Paul, Abraham and Moses. It was always fascinating to me. A few years ago I had a sudden and unexpected opportunity to travel to Greece. In the blink of an eye I was suddenly standing in Corinth, Greece. Things I had never truly believed would ever happen in my life were in front of me. I visited the island of Crete and went to the Chapel of Titus. Things that were so far out of the possibility that I could not even dream them really.

Then two years ago God brought two Egyptian boys and two Pakistani boys into my life. I thought so much about my wish to one day see Egypt with my own eyes. The Nile river, the Red Sea. All those things I had heard and read about in the Bible. With the passing of that year I came to love these four boys as my own sons. They have a very special place in my heart.

The last day before they were to leave America I went for a walk in the park with one of my Egyptian boys. I thought I would most likely never see any of them again. We talked about the possibility of me coming to Egypt but even as we spoke the words it seemed an impossibility. My heart broke that day putting them on the plane. I was afraid the goodbye was forever. I prayed that somehow I would go and see my boys one day.

Two months later my college announced that although they could not give raises that year they would give a one time bonus. The day the bonus came I looked at the price of airline tickets to go see my boys. The cost of the ticket for Pakistan and Egypt was within fifty dollars of the amount of my bonus after taxes.
Church of St. Titus in Greece

Suddenly, unexpectedly, I was in Pakistan and a short time later I was in Egypt. I put my feet in the Red Sea, I walked in the sand of the Sinai Desert, I rode a boat across the Nile River, but more important than any of that, I walked again with the four boys who I have come to love as my own.
When I left Pakistan and Egypt I promised the boys I would return again as long as God provided a way. This year the college once again was unable to give raises, but choose again to give a one time bonus..... today is the day the bonus came. The amount... almost to the exact penny of what is needed to go once again and see my four boys.

A view of the Sinai Desert, Egypt
Amazing places God has taken me. I would have never begun to believe I would see these things with my own eyes.
On most days Terri works at a community college. Please keep her in your prayers as the Lord gives her many opportunities to shine His love to student from around the world. She posted this on the first day of school. "Today is a new beginning for many of our students at the college. Some of them come eagerly, some are pushed in by their parents, some slip in hoping no one will notice. I try to remember that when I answer the same question 300 times or get the person on the phone who can't find their way around the block. A new day, a new beginning, a new opportunity to make a difference. I tell my students all the time, "make your corner of the world better, wherever it is God put you". As students around the world start back to class please remember them and those who teach them in your prayers. They are the future of what our world will become." Thanks, Terri for sharing today, I've been blessed.
Prayer: Lord in an instant you transported Philip from baptizing the Ethiopian in Acts 8:26-49  "When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away,  and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.  Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea." Lord thank you for how you can in an instant provide for us exactly what we need to go where you want us to go. 
Help us to be ready and available for when you suddenly decide to act. I pray even now you would prepare the hearts of these readers for some wonderful thing that you have for them when in an instant you will make the impossible - possible.  

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