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Chain Reactions

by Marlene Houk

Burke CountyMarlene Houk Burke County


After hours of precise setup, dozens of students held their breath as the third-grader lifted a small cylinder, sparking a chain reaction that caused game boards to fall, balls to roll, and catapults to swing into action. The marble clicked into place, causing the bright yellow ping-pong ball to roll down the pipe, dislodging the game cards and eventually toppling thousands of dominoes as the crowd cheered.

Chain reactions mesmerize us with their precision, creativity, and pure enjoyment, and they are oddly satisfying. Elaborate actions begin by the tiniest of activities as minuscule slabs topple the next domino or swing a bucket to cause chaos in subsequent steps. We enjoy the results, totally unaware of the interplay of mathematics, force amplification, and physics.

Chain reactions occur in the lives of Christians also. God orchestrates the paths of our lives in intricate and perfectly timed sequences which begin with a small action on our parts that may balloon into bigger scenarios that cause blessings for generations. Recently, my daughter and I sat at the kitchen table, discussing a post by one of her college pals on Facebook. She talked about how the pastor mentioned in the post had blessed and trained her in counseling. That pastor and I had attended the same Christian University. Eventually, my daughter rummaged in the closet and found the ancient yearbook from my college days. As she thumbed through the black and white glossy pages, she noticed the much younger-looking pictures of several professors that had also taught when she attended. Much like the careful placing of thousands of dominoes in preparation to enjoy the chain reaction, God had meticulously placed those professors to create a chain reaction of blessings in both our lives by their faithful focus on God’s plan for them.

Psalm 78:6-7 says, “That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:”

As we follow the Lord Jesus Christ daily, we influence those in our spheres. But, beyond that, we produce chain reactions as those people influence others toward the Lord. Recently, a neighbor told me that I had taught her how to make soap 20 years ago, and she was still making it. She now has children and can teach  her skill to them.

In a spiritual sense, we need to realize that God carefully creates domino chain reactions in our lives, crossing our paths with others in perfect timing to glorify him and bring pleasure to us. And then, we can pass along that training, advice, and wisdom to those in our world, creating spiritual chain reactions that bless generations and point countless others to God.

So, the next time you stare in fascination as hundreds of carefully placed objects teeter, roll, and swing in a chain reaction, remember that God is working in you and through you with exquisite timing. Numerous insignificant events accumulate to fulfill His perfect will in you (Philippians 1:6). God’s desire for your life culminates in a satisfying finish that brings about glorious shouts as saints cheer you to the finish line in exquisite perfection! To God be the glory for His masterful chain reactions in our lives!

Enjoy these chain reaction videos as you think about


Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”