CNN produces a documentary called “This is Life.” In this show, correspondent Lisa Ling looks at different human phenomena and in a recent show, she examined the connection that identical twins have.
Scholars who study twins noted how they often are able finish each other’s sentence and thereby seem to think the same thoughts. Generally, this is attributed to the close environmental contact in which they grow up. But another scholar hypothesized there may a genetic component as well. He is studying a case of twin boys who were separated at birth and grew up in separate countries!
About 25 years ago, a mother in South Korea delivered twin boys prematurely and one of the boys was in such poor health, his only chance at survival was to be flown to the U.S. for medical care. So, this mother made the heart-wrenching choice to give up one of her boys for adoption to an American couple. After he graduated from high school, with the help of his adoptive parents, he began to look for his twin.
Twenty years later, the American twin flew to South Korea to meet his twin brother! This was the case study this scholar had been waiting for his whole life. Even though they spoke different languages, with the help of interpreters, they were able to finish each other’s sentences and thoughts. They had the same personality and temperament. They had the same likes and dislikes in food, music, and sports.
As I watched this show, I thought of Hillside’s series the “Ways of Discipline”. A connection with God is one of the of the components of Christian discipline. Like identical twins, God wants us to “complete” His sentences and “think” His thoughts.
When the American twin was asked why, after 20 years, he suddenly felt the need to find his twin, he said he felt a void in his life and after meeting his twin, he felt complete. So too, does this type of connection to God make a Christian feel whole and complete.
But this connection takes work and Hillside has many resources available to you to help you make and grow your connection to God. We’re all aware of the tremendous children’s ministries at Hillside, we also have many resources available to adults and families as well.
Linda DeMaagd is a great person to assist you. She is a lifelong member of Hillside and she heads up the Family & Adult Ministries at Hillside and she is a wonderful person to assist adults and families with growing their connection to God.
A good connection to God also helps you weather the storms of crisis and spiritual challenge. Linda’s personal testimony beautifully illustrates this:
When we go through a life and death situation, we experience many emotions and a spiritual struggle to trust God. This was the case for me and my family when my mom passed away from cancer and then a couple years later with my personal bout with cancer. I knew in my head that God was sovereign and that all that ever happened to me went through His hands. I also knew that He didn’t create cancer and didn’t desire me to suffer with it. Putting those two truths together was a huge challenge.
I had to deal with the emotions of shock, anger, sadness, and betrayal that God would allow this. Through growing my connection with God, I came to a fuller acceptance of what my head had known. I read a lot of scripture, I poured out all my emotions to God in prayer. God also gave me the support and counsel of my husband, Joel, as well as mentors and friends.
As my connection to God matured, “Daddy Abba” and “God Almighty” slowly came together. Throughout that process, God was evident many times. One was when George preached a sermon on Psalm 103. Our daughter stopped going to church and had quit growing her connection with God due to her anger about my cancer. During that message, the rest of our family had tears in our eyes as we heard of God’s great and intimate mercy and love for us, and our faith was restored. Later, when we met with our daughter, we were telling her all about it. She started crying as she told us about her experience the night before. After months of not reading her devotional she had picked it up thinking she may start reading it….and then threw it across her bedroom in anger.
After more time of grieving, she picked up her Bible and of all places turned to Psalm 103 and began praying that scripture through her tears! I now know in new ways, with my heart, that God fully loves us all the time. I know He holds me tenderly in his arms and journeys closely with me as I experience the effects of sin on this earth. I value my connection to God because I know that I am not in heaven yet and on this earth, I know that the spiritual battle between God and Satan wages on.
As the director of Family & Adult Ministries at Hillside, Linda is available to help you and your family learn to connect to God so you can think His thoughts and finish His sentences.
By Bob VerBurg