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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My Life Was a Wreck – Part 1

A few decades ago, while running an errand for work, I found myself on an unfamiliar country road after dark. There were no street lights, and the street signs were scarce.

One particular stretch of the road curved, but I did not realize it. I continued going straight. Thanks to God, there was a dirt road ahead.

I smiled in relief that I was safe. Just then, my back tire punctured on a small rock and blew out. This sent me careening toward the high dirt embankment lining the side of the road.

I pumped my breaks, but was concerned about fully engaging them, since the car was swerving back and forth. Seeing the wall of dirt ahead, I thought it would safely stop me, since I was going so slowly.

To my surprise, my front tires went up the embankment, and the car tilted up and over until it flipped and the roof of the car hit the dirt road and smashed in. The car slid down the road for several feet with me hanging upside down by my seat belt.

I was in total shock. I paused for a moment to digest what just happened. I unbuckled my seat belt and immediately fell onto the ceiling of the car. I tried to open the door, but it was compressed out of shape and stuck shut. Squished into a coffin-sized space, I started to panic.

Frantically grabbing the handle for the window, I attempted to roll the window open to climb out, but it would not budge either. This is when panic really set in, and sent a jolt of adrenalin through my body, which was no help at all.

I quickly reminded myself that God always had everything under His control and He knew exactly where I was and what I needed. Engaging the Lord in prayer, I asked for guidance.

I breathed deeply and God’s Spirit calmed my anguished soul. The Lord clearly reminded me that I was upside down and the window handle would only turn in the opposite direction.

Of course, that worked perfectly. Once free from the wreck, I leaned up against the car for support. God sent a nurse driving by at that very moment, and she stopped to take care of me.

She took me in her car to the closest house in the neighborhood and examined me all over. No broken bones, concussion or scratches. The owners of the house called the policeman, who wrote his report and gave me a ride home.

As I walked through my front door, my nerves finally reacted and I started shaking all over from scalp to toes. My husband fixed me a cup of tea with honey, and I gulped it down. I sought solace beneath my covers, and slept until the next day.

Accompanying my daughter to the chiropractor, I was surprised to find out that I did not have one scratch or bruise. There was not one bone or spinal disc out of alignment. The car was totaled, but I escaped unscathed and perfectly cared for every moment of the ordeal and beyond.

Prayer:
Father God, that wreck was a milestone in my life. It taught me that Your hand was on my life regardless of what Satan tried to do to end it. I cannot thank You enough for building up my faith in Your faithfulness through that nightmare.

This experience gave me the strength I would need to face some trials, which lay ahead for me in my life. Your works are perfect and all of Your ways are just (Deuteronomy 32:4).

Thought for the Day:
God works out even the most life-threatening challenges for the good of those who love Him and live in His purpose for their life. – Romans 8:28