Until the final trumpet sounds…

Return to the One.
Return to the One.

Have you ever found yourself looking at others and thinking you’re probably the only one that struggles the way you do? Or even convinced yourself that somehow there is no way some one could see good in you the way they see it in others? It’s strange how we can convince ourselves that we’re the minority… every time.

For goodness sake…I was sweating and smashing it in a gym class and I thought… “I’m probably the only one who’s losing my breath right now”. Never mind that the instructor is sweating like a pig right in front of me!

Well, I don’t think I’m alone here. I always think I’m too far-gone, too messed up, too complicated and just too much like the exception. But just when you thought it was too late, or you’ve already stuffed up yet another day of your life… God comes through and says two beautiful words…

EVEN NOW.

These words of hope break through a time of a horrific plague that gripped the Israelites. A plague of locusts…so many that they cover the sun and the sound of them is like listening to a jet plane right up close. They have turned their backs away from God and these locusts are about to eat everything in their land and leave it barren.

Then He speaks hope…”even now”.

Even now, when you feel like all hope is lost.

Even now, when you are convinced you will never amount to anything.

Even now, when even those around you agree.

Even now, when you know you can’t do anything to make it right.

He says “return to me with all your heart.” (Joel 2:12a).

“The LORD has never changed: from that evening in the garden of Eden when he called out to Adam, ‘Where are you?’ (Gn 3:9), right through to the closing invitation of the book of Revelation, ‘The Spirit and the Bride say, “come” (Rev. 22:17). The invitation is the same return to me.” (David Prior, 1988)

This is our God. He has never given up and He will never give up on you. No matter how dark it may seem or lost you may feel…His words will forever echo

“Even now”

And they will keep echoing. Why? Because it’s never too late with Jesus. Never.

That is… until the final trumpet sounds.

Take him up on the invitation today and you won’t regret it.

Advertisements

More than she could’ve imagined

Image

There are some things we may never understand about people. This particular woman was one of those people for me. She had a thick accent and I could never really read her facial expressions. I met her at Mary Andrews College last year and although I didn’t understand her much, I was drawn to her. I had a feeling she had a story but communication barriers got me stepping back. Shame.

But! Mary Andrews College sent out a newsletter this week and I had the privilege of reading her story on the front cover! So glad they got it out of her! 🙂

Her story is one of overcoming anxiety and panic attacks. It’s such a real battle, and one that many of us would often face. I think she had quite a while to think about why she was feeling the way she was. Interestingly enough…this is how she puts it:

Before I was a Christian, I was happy because I had no guilt. But as time passed I became more aware of my sin. I went from being a happy ‘good girl’ to feeling guilty all the time. Of course I knew about God’s forgiveness, but I couldn’t quite work out it’s personal implications for me. I struggled…my sin, forgiveness, God’s judgement…what did they all really mean? I couldn’t connect them together. So I couldn’t grow closer to God. And I couldn’t forgive myself.

There it was. And I know she’s not the only one because many times I have felt that same way. I struggle to pray because of the very fact that I don’t connect God’s truth to me personally. If my plug is not connecting, I’m not going to work. Know what I mean? Whoever is reading this right now, I might know you personally or I might not…but be sure God’s truth hits you. Not the person next to you…YOU. Let it connect, let it simmer down. Let it heal your bones and your mind. He loves you, has forgiven you, knows what you will do and what you have done and yet…He’s grip on you seems to only get tighter.

You’re not too far, you’re not too gone. Look around you, child, forgiveness and love surround you!

One of the books I had been reading said ‘Everything we have committed has been eternally paid for by Christ and eternally forgiven by God.’ The Bible tells us ‘The truth shall set you free’ and that truth did! After 28 years of anxiety, guilt and misery, on September 24th 2011, I was set free!

I’m sure every prisoner remembers the day they were set free. Finally seeing and feeling the sun’s rays warm their skin after being in darkness for so long. Will you remember this day? Let God’s truth set you free. You are beloved!