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August 24, 2013

The Joy Lady: Go ahead — seek out your foundation, strengthen connection

TERRE HAUTE — My father was born in Toad Hop, Indiana. For my Wabash Valley readers, you know where Toad Hop is — on Darwin Road between U.S. 40 and Interstate 70. For my Madison County readers, you are just going to have to take my word for it — Toad Hop is a real place, probably named in honor of the toads who hopped their way from the spring flood waters of Sugar Creek and the Wabash River.

One day, not long after my father passed away, I was driving through Toad Hop on my way to the mall. When I came to the 4-way stop at the bottom of Larimer Hill, on an impulse, I turned toward the place my father said his boyhood home had once stood. Dad had once said the foundation of his parents’ house could still be seen amidst the wild blackberry bushes threatening to take over the place.

I stood in the middle of the dirt road and sure enough, I could see a lone gray stone sticking out of the briars and brambles. Seeing that piece of foundation somehow gave me a bigger picture of my father’s life. I could imagine him and his sisters playing in the yard. Dad, always one for a practical joke might have grabbed a few Toad Hop toads and threw them at his sisters. Or maybe he captured a garter snake and chased his sisters with it just to see how loudly they would scream. I know he never forgot his humble beginnings, and I felt connected to Dad while standing in the middle of that dirt road in Toad Hop.

The Old Testament can help us build a better picture of Jesus, giving us a stronger connection with Him. The Old Testament is the Bible Jesus read, the Scriptures He heard the rabbis read, the verses He memorized.

The Old Testament was Jesus’ song book. In the synagogue, Jesus worshipped with the Psalms. Jesus used the poetry for inspiration and encouragement. He sang Psalms in Gethsemane and quoted the Psalms while He was dying.

The Old Testament is the story of Jesus, the story of the people who believed in Jesus, hoped in Jesus, anticipated the coming of Jesus. In some ways, their faith exceeds ours, for they had far less evidence of Jesus than we do, yet still they continued to wait for the Messiah.

So, here we stand, on the dusty road of our lives, looking back at our foundation. We can see where it all began. We can understand things about Jesus that people of the Old Testament could not. We have evidence of His work, His life, His death, His resurrection. We have a connection with Jesus that is bigger than we are, that surpasses all understanding.

Beginning with Genesis, we can connect with Jesus on every page of the Bible. Go ahead. Seek out your foundation and strengthen your connection.

Even in Toad Hop, it’s all about Jesus.

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.

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