Who or What Could Save Me?

twoshipspassing-hisss-etsy

There have been times in my life where it has felt like my relationship with God was like two ships passing in the dark with a sea of void between us. These times were very discouraging and very painful to walk through because my sinful life condemned me, my shame overshadowed me, my past haunted me, my circumstances frustrated me and my mistakes made me feel worthless. I found myself asking who or what could possibly save me?

In order to make it through life and everything which happens along the way, we must know the answer to this question! The moment we become a follower of Christ, our debt is paid in full; nothing can separate us from His great love and our worth and our value is found in Him alone. On our own, we will never make it, but with God as our ultimate source of strength, we will never grow faint or weary. I know this firsthand because when I would try to do things my own way, I opened the door wide open for attack. The enemy would whisper any number of malicious and contemptuous lies in my ear to which I had no defense, but when God was the center of my life I could honestly say because the Spirit of the Lord lived inside of me, I felt freedom. Instead of having to answer who or what could save me I could declare who or what could possibly separate me from His great love?Romans 8_38

Despite our past or what we are currently walking through, God can use anything and He never wastes any painful experience as long as we give it all to Him. With God as the focal point in our life we can walk through fiery trials and emerge without even smelling like smoke. We will not only survive oppression, but we will thrive in the midst of it. It sounds crazy, but the more messed up our life is and the more junk God has saved us from, the more God can use us and the more we can begin to understand what it truly means to be redeemed by grace because of His mercy.

Lion of JudahHowever, when God isn’t our number one priority in life, we are vulnerable to attack and one of the most important things I’ve learned is the devil is a very patient predator who is waiting for the exact moment in which we will experience the greatest harm so he can completely destroy and devour us. He is waiting for the kill shot, but what he fails to realize is the greater our fall, the greater our potential testimony will be when we humble ourselves enough to receive God’s unending grace. With this information, we should look for areas in our life in which we are vulnerable to attack and surrender them to God because it is much easier to avert a disaster than to clean one up.the-devil-as-a-roaring-lion The instant we think we are above any pitfall, we open ourselves open up to it, so we must continually look to God in all things and trust that His ways are higher than our own, especially when we can’t see a way. Don’t get discouraged when life happens; just trust that God will work all things for your good when you love Him and are called according to His purpose.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)

My Daughter, My Miracle

1 year birthday
A year ago today was one of the happiest days of my life as I witnessed the birth of my daughter. At the time, I had no clue how much my life was going to change. Becoming a father has already provided some of the highest and lowest times of my life, but if given the chance to do it all over again, I would gladly choose to do so!
I can still remember each moment, as if it was happening right before my eyes. I can still sense the mood in the room changing as my little girl was rushed to the NICU. As days turned into weeks and weeks into months, watching people arrive at the hospital, give birth and then go home with their newborns was very hard to watch and when we had to leave the hospital without our little angel, it was even harder. No parent should ever have to leave the hospital without their child. There was such a feeling of distance between us; add to that our fear, anxiousness, nervousness and you had an emotional hot mess. It was so hard to be thankful when all I was doing was worrying. People would ask how we were doing and we would say fine, but all that really meant was we were freaked out, insecure, neurotic and emotional. It was only when I began to rely on God solely that I began to rise above my circumstances despite them. I would claim Philippians 4:19, “My God will supply all my needs” because being anxious accomplishes nothing; instead we are to be in prayer about everything.
When we bring our needs before the Lord, the God of comfort and the God who provides, He will give us peace that transcends all understanding and He will make a way where there is no way. Living with extreme pain this last year, due to a vehicle accident that broke my back, I have been a prisoner of pain. Finally though, God has brought the surgeon into my path that will bring God the glory in healing me. I will finally be able to hold my little girl again without pain coursing through my body. Walking through these seasons full of bittersweet blessings, sometimes my human nature caused me to try and think my way out of my problems, instead of relying on God solely, as I did one year ago when He healed my sweet daughter. God is with us always, but when we constantly dwell on our problems; our peace can elude us as we replay our circumstances over and over again in our minds. I can still remember as new parents, wanting to hold and nurture Sydney; instead we were subjecting her to spinal taps and other painful tests. Having her in the NICU was not part of the dream I had envisioned, but I still trusted God. There were days we had no tears left to cry, but as long as I stayed focused on God who is mighty to save, I kept it together, but when I didn’t, my sadness turned into panic, anxiety, and fear.
The longer we were in the NICU, the more I picked up on subtle things I had not previously noticed. Obviously, one of the first things we could tell was the sex of other people’s babies based on if the parent’s bracelets were pink or blue. Also, if they had multiple ID bracelets, it meant they had twins or triplets. As each day passed, my bracelet became so worn you could barely read Sydney’s name or birthday. One of the saddest things I saw during our time there was a mother who had two bracelets one day and the next day I saw her, she only had one. I later found out that one of her babies had passed away during the night. No matter how worn my bracelet got or how beat down I felt, I remember never wanting to take my bracelet off.
I can remember how weak I would feel going back and forth to the hospital and it reminded me of the story in Matthew 14:30 when Peter got out of the boat to walk on water. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on water, but as soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus and began to look around, he began to sink. The same is true with the problems we face; if we stay focused on God, He will sustain us, but when we look to our own ways, we are sure to sink. Joel Osteen wrote, “In the natural realm we exchange money for the things we want and need, but in the spiritual realm, faith is what we exchange.” You see, our faith pleases God and it opens doors that no man can, especially when we are walking through the storm of the century. When we obey the word of God and believe His promises are true, we strengthen our faith and as it grows, God is able to do things in and through us we never could imagine. Looking back over this last year, one thing is abundantly clear: God loves us and He wants the best for us, even if that means we have to walk through painful seasons. As long as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and trust His plan, it doesn’t matter what the world tries to throw at us. I encourage you to stop looking to the world for answers and start looking to the Great I Am, the One who made the heavens and the earth. In Him you will find peace and you will know rest as He comforts you in His outstretched arms. He will never give us more than we can handle and He will give us just enough strength, mercy and grace to make it through each new day.