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God is never doing just one thing

By Al EARLEY

Religion Columnist

Life is hard, and it is not fair. In our fallen world there is plenty of sin, evil and brokenness.  If we focus on that, we can certainly be overwhelmed with the darkness of the world around us. I highly recommend learning to live by the simple and profound words of this song.  “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in his wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.” 

It can be difficult, but to focus on Jesus and what he is doing in our lives will allow his light to shatter the darkness of a hard and unfair world. His light can cause all the darkness to grow strangely dim.

He says in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” 

Day-to-day it may not seem like it, but God is weaving all our days together into an amazing tapestry —  interwoven in the lives of many other people.  What may seem insignificant to us, may be life changing to the person affected by our actions. 

The story of Konrad Reuland is just such a story.  His mother remembers him to be a child of exceptional energy. At age four, he jumped out of the grocery cart. His mom could not keep up with him. When she finally did, he was hiding in a frozen food cooler.

So the Reuland family chose to harness that energy by enrolling him in youth sports. He played basketball, football and baseball. Then, at age 11, Konrad had an experience that would change his life forever. Hall of Famer Rod Carew visited his school to meet and encourage the children. The Los Angeles infielder, who wore number 29 throughout his career, was one of the greatest baseball players in history. He was a legend in the LA area.

     His mom remembers what Konrad said after school that day. “Mommy! Mom! Mom! I met Rod Carew today!  You know, he was a pro-athlete!  I want to be a pro athlete!” Konrad made good on that promise playing football for Notre Dame and Stanford.

He was drafted by the New York Jets and caught eleven passes during his first year. Then he got injured, and everyone thought his career was over.  Everyone except him. 

While training to come back he was running on the treadmill when he felt something click behind his right eye. He was diagnosed with a major aneurysm. The next day Konrad told his mom, “I’m about to kick this thing’s butt, with the help of God. He has something big in store for me.”

That was the last conversation she would have with her son. Shortly after, the aneurysm burst, and Konrad never regained consciousness. On Dec. 12, 2016, Konrad Reuland was declared brain dead at the age of 29.

Konrad had checked a little box indicating his willingness to be an organ donor in the event of his death.  His mother remembers saying, “Whoever gets his heart, we would like to meet them. And whoever gets his heart better deserve it, because it’s a good one.”

Since God is never doing just one thing in the lives of people, in the providence of God, the recipient of Konrad’s heart was Rod Carew. The heart Carew had inspired would now be the heart that saved his life.

After his heart transplant Carew started a foundation to further awareness and research for heart disease. The name of this foundation, “The Heart of 29”, both the age that Konrad was when he died and the number Rod Carew wore as an athlete. 

If we take the time to study carefully how life is revolving around us and make sure we are looking into the wonderful face of Jesus, then we will begin to see that God is doing many things at once in our lives. 

Can you think of an example in your own life where God was doing a number of things at once in your life, and in the lives of others at the same time?

Do you focus too much on the darkness, or are you good at looking full in the wonderful face of Jesus? God is weaving your life in and out of the lives of many others right now. I hope you will gain a keen eye to see the master artist at work all around you.

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles go to lagrangepres.com.