Divine Appointmets – A Missed Opportunity

Growing up as a shy melancholy, I did not change very much when I first came to Christ. I still hesitated to talk to people, for fear of rejection and ridicule. Yet, I wanted to tell others about God’s divine love.

An opportunity arose a few weeks later, when a school chum pulled into the gas station just outside the window of the office where I worked. I knew my boss would not like me to take time away, and I figured my friend was also very busy.

So I just ran outside for a moment, greeted him and told him I had some good news to tell him as soon as we could get together. He was married to my boyfriend’s sister, so I did not think much time would pass before we could chat.

I ran back to my desk, excited that this would be my first opportunity to share with someone about the love and mercy of Christ in my life. A smile adorned my face for the rest of the day.

That very night…my lifelong school friend…committed suicide.

When my boyfriend gave me the news, I was devastated for his wife and their families, but more distraught because the Gospel of Christ may have saved his life both physically and spiritually, if I had only taken the time to speak to him when God gave me the opportunity.

I felt such deep remorse for days. I cried out to the Lord for forgiveness of this sin of omission. At the funeral, I cried more for my failure than I did for his family. I felt bereft and condemned by Satan’s shame.

The next day at work, I stared out the window, watching the cars come and go at the gas station next door. I judged myself for my failure and felt such regret that his life ended too young, and that his eternal destiny was already set.

My failure haunted me for weeks, until I stopped rebuking myself long enough to listen to the Lord. The shame of my failure left, but in its place came a dogged determination never to miss another divine appointment to share the love and grace of the Lord.

Prayer:
Father God, Your mercy and grace to forgive our sins of commission and omission humbles us and increases our love for You. I know that You had a plan for my school friend, and he chose to end his life rather than to surrender His life to You (John 3:16-18).

Thank you for the many opportunities You continually give us to share the Good News of the Gospel of Christ with everyone You bring into our life. Help us never to hesitate from fear or human reasoning, but to step out of our flesh and into Your Spirit, and to open our mouth and allow You to fill it by Your Spirit (Psalm 81:10).

Thought for the Day:
Not everyone will accept the Gospel of Christ when we share it with them; but we take them to a crossroad in their life where they have to make a choice to accept or reject the Lord. – John 3:16-18

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Healing Through Grief

When our feelings threaten to overwhelm us and their intensity frightens us, grieving them will help us to cope in healthy ways. To receive healing it is necessary to face our grief and to actively surrender it to God. Trying to ignore our pain only makes it worse. Our Inner Child will find a way to interject our heart-felt feelings into our day at the most inopportune times. Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is normal. Showing our true feelings can help others to grieve as well.

Everyone grieves differently. We all have our own unique personality and needs, which color our grief process. Some take longer than others to grieve. We never fully recover from grief. Familiar places and aspects of life will trigger our grief, sometimes at the most unexpected moments. Holidays, a special song, a child, a Bible passage, a piece of clothing, a facial expression, a motto, and many other experiences may trigger our feelings of grief all over again.

This is a normal and a necessary part of healing. It is healthy to allow our self to feel the grief, and then to put it into God’s perspective. We can compare it to what God did for us during other times of loss and what He is doing now as well. Circumstances may continue to trigger our feelings for years after our loss. It is important to allow our self to feel that grief, rather than to bury the feelings or to lecture our self or others for the way we feel. They are legitimate feelings.

Patience with our self and others who are grieving is very important. Those in grief need our care, patience and understanding. We allow our grief to process naturally, by refusing to put parameters and expectations on grief. Grief often resembles a roller coaster; but it is also a ferry, which will transport us to the future stages in our life with more compassion and understanding for others who encounter grief in their life too.

Prayer:
Father God, strengthen our inner being after a loss in our life and reshape the beliefs and thought patterns that contribute to our fear of the future. Remind us to read Your Word and to copy down verses, which comfort us in our time of fear and grief. From Your scriptures, we will gain guidance, wisdom, courage and encouragement. They are our spiritual vitamins, which strengthen us more each day.

Thought for the Day:
God is more powerful than all of our needs, and He will provide for us according to His glorious riches. – Philippians 4:19

A Secure Life

Every trial in life threatens our stability. Physical illnesses, emotional trauma and mental stress take their toll. Sometimes they cause us to lose our job, home, mate, family, bank account and our security. We have nowhere to turn and we end up defenseless, scared and lonely.

Our human independence drives us to deal with life’s stresses on our own. We pridefully believe that we can conquer every obstacle without anyone’s help. In his day, Paul called people like this “foolish” (Galatians 3:1-3). God did not redeem us to forsake us (Isaiah 43:1). We cannot save our self for eternity and neither can we save our self on a daily basis.

There is only one stable place on this earth, and that is in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. He sacrificed His Son in order to pay the penalty of our sins and to give us free access to His throne (John 3:16; Hebrews 4:16). He invites us to call upon Him anytime. He will answer us, give us security in our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – and work out our circumstances for our ultimate good (Jeremiah 33:3; Romans 2:28).

As authentic Born Again Believers our house is no longer built on the sand of Satan’s lies, but on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:26; Psalm 18:2). Jesus is our chief cornerstone and He keeps us secure through all of life’s stormy trials. God’s Spirit within us provides us with a solid foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). As we cast our burdens on our Father God, He tenderly cares for us (Psalm 55:22; Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 5:7).

We cannot be good, holy or spiritual enough to deserve God’s blessings; therefore, He loved us while we were still sinners (Isaiah 43:4; Romans 5:8). As we trust in Him, God manifests His glory in and through us during our entire lifetime (Titus 3:4-6; Ephesians 2:8-10). Once we enter God’s rest, we no longer strive in our human carnal efforts (Deuteronomy 33:12; Hebrews 4:9-12).

Prayer:
Father God, if we consider more than this one moment of time, we will feel remorse for our past and fear for our future. As we realize that in this one moment we are blessed beyond measure, we can dwell in peace with our confidence in You. You give us peaceful dwellings, secure homes and undisturbed places of rest now and for eternity (Isaiah 32:17-20). Only in You do we have a secure life.

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of life’s circumstances, nothing can separate us from the love of God. – Romans 8:31-39