Sunday, December 23, 2018

They say that in moments of peril your life flashes before your eyes.  For me, the opposite was true. In the seconds before a head-on collision that could’ve easily claimed my life, I didn’t reflect on my past, but my future. As I topped a hill and found myself speeding toward not two--but four-- headlights on a dark and rainy night, I thought, this is how people die. Honestly, in those fleeting seconds before impact, my heart called out for Jesus and I envisioned Him welcoming me to heaven.

Instead, seconds later, I found myself seriously injured, impossibly trapped and eerily alone in the driver’s seat of my Ford Explorer. I had been on the phone with my husband, but sensed we had lost connection as I cried out, “Call 911! I’ve been in a bad wreck… really bad.” That feeling of helplessness and isolation led me to again call out to God, this time audibly. I whispered, “God, I want to survive this and if I can, give me the strength I'll need. If not, I know I’ll be with you.” 

A peace immediately fell upon me. I knew no matter what happened next, the Holy Spirit would carry me through. I’m a person of deep faith, but I’m no saint.  I question, I doubt, I falter, I stray. But when I was a little girl, I accepted the gift of salvation, and that gift is irrevocable. That’s never been as clear to me as it was that night… over an hour trapped in that SUV and the agonizing hours that followed, and never did I panic. When it came down to it, there was nothing to fear.  

To revoke means to take back.  My niece turned one last month, and that girl loves to eat. Often, as she snacks, she’ll offer one of us a morsel, but as soon as we reach for it, she takes it back. She likes the idea of offering it, likes to see us smile and reach for it, but when it comes down to it, she keeps her precious snack.  Surely, she thinks, we couldn’t possibly enjoy it as much as she will.

How thankful we should be that when God reached down His hand to Earth and offered us His Son, He didn’t take it back. Even when we overlook, misunderstand, and persecute the gift, He doesn’t take it back. Jesus was and still is offered to all of us, irrevocably. To have Jesus means to have peace that passes all understanding. Nothing and no one can take that away.

Not only are His gifts irrevocable, so is His calling. Too often I haven’t lived this truth in the day to day. More than I like to admit, I’ve questioned my purpose and doubted God’s plan.  Did He really call me to be this man’s wife if I can’t bear his children? (I falter…) Am I making a big enough difference in this world if we don’t adopt a child of our own? (I stray…) 

And then He sets my feet back on the path in the most unexpected and painful of ways. But even in the shock and the hurt, there is purpose.  Yes, that man who rushed to your side and never left... you are meant to be his.  And all those others in your life... family, friends, students, youth group, church family... they need you. This is your calling. Wife. Teacher. Leader. Sister. Aunt. Daughter. Friend. Each is irrevocable.  

Perhaps your holiday season hasn’t been as dramatic as mine, but God’s love for you is no less strong. He has offered you His Son, and He has called you to a life that is pleasing to Him and uplifting to others. Even when you falter, even when you stray… He won’t take it back.  The opposite of to revoke is to continue and that’s how it is with God’s love. When you’re hurt, when you’re stuck, when you’re alone, His love continues. From that baby in the manger until the darkest rainy night of today, it keeps on…  and for that I am most grateful.