From A Listening Heart: Sharing some of my thoughts and "God moments" as God grows me in my faith and speaks to my heart, while I seek His face and to know Him.

My friend, something I have learned is that: Your past does NOT define you... It is through the eyes of grace, and how GOD sees you, and what you let Him do IN YOU and THROUGH you (because of your past), that defines who you are, and shapes who you become!

Monday, August 28, 2017

There is Hope

(Ecc: 1:4-5 NCV)
People live, and people die, but the earth continues forever.
The sun rises, the sun sets, and then it hurries back to where it rises again.

For change to take place-- room must be made. For new life to begin, something must die in its place. My friend, no matter where you are at in your circumstances, know that God is in them, and there is hope.

Several years ago I sat in my store that I had at the time, and thought about people I cared about that didn't know Christ. I felt a tug in my heart, as if the Lord was asking, "Would you die for them?" And, I said, "YES." I remember laying down on the floor with my arms spread wide, palms opened up, and in a very peaceful and most surrendered state, I repeated and said, "Yes."

I don't know what I expected that day, but the tug in my heart was so strong, that I knew it was the Lord. For days, I walked in an overwhelming peace and kept thinking, "If I died today, that would be ok with me."

About a month later I was in a car accident. I was coming around the corner after just having been stopped at a red light. When the light turned green the car in front of me went straight, but I turned. I hadn't gotten very far when I realized that a small group of kids (that had been walking on the sidewalk) crossed over the street right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes. My first reaction was to look in the rearview mirror, sure enough the car that I had seen coming up behind me, had turned the corner without slowing down, and was fixing to ram right into me. I looked back up and there was 1 high school kid that was about halfway across the road, but 3 kids were right directly in front of me with one more fixing to step off the curb into the street. All I could do was to put both feet on the brake and hold it down. I remember grabbing the emergency brake and pulling it up.

The car that had come up from behind me slammed right into me, picking the back of my car up off the ground, and then it fell back down. However, the front of my car never moved. It was as if something was holding it in its place. The 3 kids in front of me screamed and finished running across the road, the other one got back up on the sidewalk and ran off. And me? I sat there dazed and couldn't move. I was so shaken up. The driver of the other car got out (a young teenage girl) and came running up to me, crying and screaming, "Are you ok?"

The police came-- but while we were waiting, the girl and I moved the cars into the gas station parking lot to get out of the way of traffic. This young girl couldn't quit crying, and I remember that even though I was shaking so badly, all I could do was wipe her eyes and try to comfort her, telling her that everything would be ok.

When the police got there, we filled out the report. Even though she had rammed into me and eyewitnesses said  that the back of my car had been completely lifted off the ground and slammed back down-- there was no damage! And, only minor damage to hers. And those children trying to cross the road? No one had been hurt.

I found out that she had been talking on the phone and saw that the light was green and proceeded to turn the corner-- but never slowing down. Had I not been there first, she would have plowed into those kids. Had I not been stopped at that light before turning the corner myself, this young girl would have been the one to meet those kids stepping out into the road, and she would not have had time to stop.

I didn't die that day, and it wasn't members of my family that were saved. But I felt the Lord's presence, and an overwhelming thought, as if He had said, "I took their place." And it occurred to me that-- I took that young girl's place. The next day I could barely move. I hurt all over. My knees and thighs especially-- because I had stretched my legs out and with both feet, had held the brake to the floor, I guess in a sense locking the car up. But again, I kept reminding myself that no one had been hurt, so everything was ok.

I learned something that day-- sometimes it isn't in actual physical death that God asks if you are willing. Sometimes what He wants to know is, "Will you die to yourself?"

Truly, truly, I say to you,  unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 12:24 (NASB)

My friend, sometimes something inside of us has to die first before God can begin to grow something new in us and through us. I encourage you today. If you are going through rough times and it feels as if your world is crumbling down; then know that God is allowing it to happen so He will have room to do something different. Know that if something has died (maybe a job, friendship, or even a marriage) that God CAN resurrect the dead in a totally new way-- but if He chose NOT to, then know it is because He is going to do something completely new in you and for you. Know that you are not alone.

My friend, know that in the evenings as the sun goes down, God says I have been with you and I am watching you. But also know that in the morning as the sun rises, there is always hope. If your world is falling apart, THEN WAIT and let the Lord strengthen you. Wait and let His Holy Spirit comfort you. Wait and let the almighty God do something new inside of you.

Hold to God's Word as He leads you today: "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" ( Isa. 40:28-31).

Have a blessed day, and remember that with the one who loves you-- there is always hope, and there will be light at the end of your tunnel, even if you can't see it yet.


------------------ The 2nd part to this devotional "And in Our Hope" will be out in a few days. 

To read more devotionals written by Kassie, click here, to visit our website.

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