I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (NIV)
In 1858, a Mr Kimball led a Boston shoe shop assistant to Christ. This shop assistant was called Dwight Moody, who became a famous evangelist. In 1879 in the UK, he stirred up a man called Frederick Meyer who was a pastor. Meyer got a new zeal for evangelism and when he visited the USA he led a man called Wilbur Chapman to Christ. Chapman befriended a man called Billy Sunday and asked him to help him in some evangelistic ministry. Billy Sunday led a series of evangelistic meetings in North Carolina.
He so enthused the locals that they planned another series, this time inviting a man called Mordecai Ham to preach. Mordecai Ham duly came to preach and during one of his meetings a man called Billy Graham heard the message and gave his life to Christ. We could go on, but the point is made. We pass on the faith and assume God will give the fruit in due season.
We are products of others’ influence. Timothy owed much to his mother and grandmother. We may owe much to many people whose names and faces we may even have forgotten. And we ourselves may have shaped the lives of others without being aware of it.
Never assume our contacts with others are merely accidental. Never assume we have no part to play. Those seemingly random events or incidental meetings may be used by God to change a life and a destiny. None of us ought to seek control over others. But each of us can seek to be links in whatever chain God is fashioning in another’s life.