What a Gift!!

Two weeks ago we had our Shoreline Women Collide Retreat. Friday night was spectacular. After it was over, I was wired and tired, and I stayed up a little too late after the evening ended. I had to get back to the Shoreline South building early Saturday morning, and so before I drifted off for a quick few hours of sleep, I set my alarm to be sure I’d get up on time. Saturday morning rolled around, and I did something I never do. I turned my alarm off in my sleep. I don’t even remember it going off. All I remember is waking up in a panic, realizing it was almost time for me to leave the house, and I wasn’t even out of bed yet!! Now, I am a girly girl, so I knew I was in trouble. So I quickly hopped up and got to it, only to get hit a few minutes later with texts from others already on their way saying IH 35 was at a complete standstill. The dark side of me was happy that everyone would be late also. But the more level headed side knew I just had to get there in time to be available to help set things up for Saturday to be a great day. David and I checked the routes, and I headed toward the toll road instead of IH35, which is the opposite direction I normally drive in the mornings. The toll road is east of my house, and as you know, the sun rises in the east. As I eased up to the stop sign leaving my neighborhood, I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen. I was captivated by the beauty of it, so many colors and textures, and I knew – this was for me – a special God touch of love as I started the day. It was like God was saying, “I am with you, and everything is going to be okay.” And, it was – I made it in plenty of time for things to run smoothly.  I didn’t do anything special that morning to earn such a display.  It was a God gift, and it made my day.

This past week, I was again reminded of God’s love and grace in a special way. I had gotten upset with David and lost my temper. I even threw my nail file at him during the heat of the moment. The next day, I felt so guilty. I asked for David’s and God’s forgiveness and felt better, but through out the day David was being so sweet, and the guilt tried to creep back in. For a minute, I went there, but then I heard a little Holy Spirit whisper, “What are you doing? You’re forgiven, all of your sins – past, present and future. Jesus bore them on the cross.” And I knew, it was for me. It was as if God was saying again, “I am here I am with you and everything is going to be alright.” Another God gift, unearned, unmerited – my burden lifted.

In each of those two situations, God’s gift of grace shined through. He didn’t pull away when I was rushing before Collide and mumbling under my breath, or when I was feeling guilty about fighting with David. He simply met me where I was in the moment; and He loved me there. Grace came to my rescue. What a gift! It reminds me of Ephesians 2:8-9, ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.’

Maybe you are feeling panicked about something today, or feeling like you have messed up,  or perhaps you are feeling like you need a special God touch today; a reminder of His love and grace. My prayer for you is that you will have eyes to see his love on display in the world and people around you and ears to hear his whispers as he calls your name and speaks words of love and grace to your heart. He is for you, He is with you, and He loves you beyond measure; rest in the beauty of His love and grace today.

Copyright © 2011 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved.

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Nothing is Impossible

I imagine, if I were to ask you if you have ever faced a situation that for all appearances seemed impossible, you would say yes. I think we can all relate; we have probably all had times when our faith has wavered, our dreams have seemed a million miles away, and it appears as if God has forgotten us.

 In moments like those, I love having the Bible to look back on to see how others walked through similar faith-challenged moments. We can look at stories like that of Abraham and Sarah, who waited 25 years from the time God promised them a son, to his actual birth. Abraham had been promised that He would be the Father of many nations, and he hadn’t even had the rightful heir it was all supposed to come through. When the time was approaching for Isaac to be born by God’s time table it seemed impossible from Abraham and Sarah’s perspective, because they were past childbearing years. God’s response to their faith wavering moment was this question, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”

In the New Testament, in Luke Chapter 1, we see a similar response given to Mary when the angel visited her to foretell of Jesus’ birth. She didn’t see how it could be possible for her to have a child when she had never even been with a man, to which the angel replied in verse 37, “For nothing is impossible with God.”

 We can also read of people being healed of diseases, raised from the dead, protected in a fiery furnace, and of one man who was rescued from a lion’s den without a scratch on him. We can read of prison doors opening miraculously, of words being given to speak when needed, of provision being met. And with all of these true life stories we are again reminded that with God all things truly are possible.

I don’t know what you are facing today, but I do know that it hasn’t knocked God off the throne! He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is still the God that moves mountains. Our God is still in the miracle working business. Nothing is too big or too hard for Him – For Nothing is impossible with God!

 Copyright © 2011 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved.