Monday, July 14, 2014

Memory Lane

                Today I go and speak to a group of women who have asked to me share my story with them. These are Jesus loving ladies, many whom have been walking with the Lord longer than I have. For the past month I have been praying about what the Lord wanted me to share with them, and how much He wanted me to share. (You get me talking and I am not easily quieted!) But last night, as I laid my head down I prayed and I asked Him once more what He wanted me to speak to the hearts of each lady there. He replied with a scripture passage that He first spoke to me. This scripture passage started a walk down memory lane with my Lord; a walk that I never want to forget. He took me back down the path where we first fell in love.  
Photo:danielpatto.com
                If you have ever read my testimony, you will know how far away from the Lord I was when He walked into my life. I was off on my own doing what I wanted, when I wanted and did not care at all who I hurt along the way. But the Lord reminded me this morning of the journey He and I have been on since that first moment when my eyes were opened and my heart called out to Him in desperate love.
                “Therefore, I will allure her; will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her; I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. And it shall be in that day” says the Lord, “That you will call Me, ‘My Husband’, and no longer call Me, ‘My Master’.” Hosea 2:14-16
                As I traveled back through those first years of my walk with the Lord, I saw Him drawing me to Himself. I saw Him singing over me, and loving me with a passion and a desire that surpassed anything and everything I had ever experienced before. This journey this morning has been full of love and grace and mercy. This journey back through the chapters of His Word which He has spoken into my life has brought me to the realization that I must never give up. I must never give up on Him, and I must never give up on others.
                If you would have known me before Jesus came into my life, you, like most, would have thought I was a hopeless case. There was no way I was ever going to give up the sinful life that I was so thoroughly enjoying for a life with God. I thought God did not exist, and if He did exist then He was this mean old man looking down on me in anger all the time. If this God whom many spoke to me about was real, then He must despise me greatly. But our God, He knows exactly what we need to bring us to the point of surrender and belief in Him. He never forced Himself on me. He hedged my way about me many times, (Hosea 2:6) and brought me to places that no woman should ever have to go (Hosea 2:10). But He never took His eyes off me, and He never gave up hope.
                He never gave up on me, how sobering and humbling these words are to me. He saw in me a future. He saw in me a plan and a purpose that I could have never imagined for myself. When He looked at me, He looked at me with hope in His eyes. Hope that I would come to Him. He knew that the only way to get me to come to Him was to romance me all the way. I have always been a romantic at heart. I have always sought out love, sometimes, many times in all the wrong places and all the wrong faces (Hosea 2:7). But He knew exactly where to find me, and He knew exactly the right time to come to me and show me His great love for me.
                So many times I think we get frustrated with unbelievers, with our unsaved family members and we just want to give up on them. We have told them the gospel, we have shared our testimonies with them, we have walked out this Christian life before them as best we can, and yet they still refuse to turn from their sinful ways. But as I traveled with the Lord through the scriptures of my early walk this morning, I saw a need for me to keep pressing on, to keep striving, to keep fighting and to not give up on anyone.
                They may look hopeless, but then again- didn't we all look hopeless before we came to know Jesus? I know I was. I was a hopeless case. Many times my family wanted to give up on me. They didn't think I would ever get my life right, never get my marriage put back together, and never be a decent person. But God had a plan. He had a plan and a purpose for me, and He knew exactly what I needed to bring the beauty of Salvation into my life, and to open my heart to Him.
Photo: buddymartin.net
                If there is one thing that I can encourage these women with today, I pray it is that they do not give up; that they keep fighting and keep striving to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it looks like the seeds we are sowing into the hearts of people are just falling on hard, packed soil. Sometimes it seems like our lives are making no impact at all. But our God knows us, just as He knows those to whom you are ministering. Don’t give up. Don’t give up on God. He knows exactly what each person needs to come to Him, and He will do whatever it takes to make that happen. He proved that when He came down from heaven took upon sinful flesh and carried it to the cross. He will pursue us. He pursued me, and I am pretty sure, He pursued you.
                I know what the Lord wants me to share today. I know what He wants me to say. I pray now that He does it through me, and takes me out of the way. I pray that the journey the Lord took me on this morning will inspire you to take a journey of your own. Take some time today to open your Bible and get before the Lord. Let Him take you down memory lane, and let Him show you the great love that He has for you today, and the great love He had for you before, even while you were still in your sins. May this journey encourage you to keep pressing on, to keep striving and to keep fighting the good fight of faith, and may this journey encourage you to not give up on God, or on those whom He loves. In Jesus name, amen and amen.