~There was that invitation from your workout partner to hear the agnostic turned Jesus follower, but you were too busy.
~There was the time your mother carefully asked, ‘Honey, have you thought about praying?’ ‘Yeah Mom…sure,’ as you rolled your eyes and thought, ‘this again.’
~Then of course there was that time you were in a real jam
your back was against the wall
You were so far down you couldn’t see up
And you actually did pray, “God, if you’re there--could you do something?!
I mean, God, I promise if you will help me this once, I will follow you!”
Then, wonder of wonders, a remedy came. You were out of your mess
and life was good again … and God? ‘Well, you know, I don’t really think God
had too much to do with it. Coincidentally, it just worked out - you know.’
Really? God answered the prayer you desperately uttered backed
up with a promise from you, then you chalked it up to coincidence?
The fact is, God was behind those invitations, those circumstances to get you to give him a notice. He has pursued you in various ways if you had only stopped long enough, been open enough, to consider Him.
There was that litter of puppies your two dogs accidentally had … remember? I mean, how in the world did an 11-pound little dog know what to do when her five tiny pups were born? Yet she did. Each came out in a kind of bubble, then she pierced that bubble with her teeth and started licking each pup until he started moving and breathing…then of course, the pup somehow found its way to nurse… it was unbelievable really, the coolest thing ever, as you watched them each day. Yet you didn’t realize the wonder of the creation, the gift of animals, is a gift from a benevolent Creator who shows himself over and over each day - a Creator who wants to be close to you.
O and I suppose this was the biggest ‘do you see me now?’ There was that week your two-year-old came into your bedroom on a Monday morning limping. Limping? You hadn’t seen him fall and get hurt. Hmmm…. Next morning, there was a puffiness around his little eyes. Okay, that’s odd, but who knows? Anything can happen with kids. Except more did happen and it wasn’t good. Several days later that same two-year-old had kidney failure--those first signs were warnings. The specialists couldn’t determine the cause for the problem, so they couldn’t treat it. The little guy had no proper diagnosis, no prognosis, no treatment plan, yet he continued to soak one diaper after another with dark red blood. No, the kidneys were not improving and besides that his blood pressure, sodium and potassium and cholesterol levels were through the roof.
Time to pray. Like, time to really pray. And you did.
Wouldn’t you know it? God came through… or was it the doctors? At first, you thought it was a miracle, but you had never witnessed a true miracle in your life, so it had to be something the doctors did. Thank God for the doctors at least, right? Within time, your life went back to normal, your little guy got well…wasn’t modern medicine amazing? And your God? Well, he went back in the box you kept him in.
You believed in God, of course, you just didn’t want him to get into too much of your life.
Same with Saul of Tarsus. Of course, he had believed in God - why, he was one of the holiest of Jews--a Pharisee for goodness’ sake!
God had stepped into his path before - sure, he had heard about the wonders that Jesus of Nazareth had done. Saul had talked to people who had dinner with him after Jesus had been crucified and put in the tomb but then showed up in Galilee and Jerusalem too. But hey, come on, those were uneducated, unrefined men who had recounted their stories to Saul. Clearly, they were weak men, easily influenced.
It took Saul getting out away from his normal six and seven (that which he did most of the time) out from the noise of his usual religious activities for God to make himself known in a way that Saul could not deny. Extreme? Yes. Effective? Certainly! On the Damascus road, Saul had a personal visit from Jesus Christ that he could not dismiss; then he had several days of quiet in which to consider that he had been wrong--apparently, Jesus Christ of Nazareth really was who he said he was: the Messiah. Wow.
Look back over your shoulder, Friend, at the times God tried to get your attention.
He loves like no other.
Your adult child who knew God and then outgrew Him once he went to college…don’t give up. Your spouse who used to be close to God, but walked away when ‘the church’ messed him over - don’t stop praying for him.
I count this as a promise for my sons who once walked closely with God:
~being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1.6)
~The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5.24).
~The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3.9).
Why don’t you pray that God will step into the path of your loved one in a way that cannot be denied? I have prayed this prayer with many a person over the years:
"O Lord, we pray that you would step into Tiffany’s life in a way
that only you can. Cause someone today to speak to her in words
she can hear; pierce that hard shell she has pulled up around herself!
Draw her to Yourself. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen."
Oh man, please give a listen to this song:
God is Love, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uviM4Z34J6o
Someone you know needs to read this and hear the song too.
Praying with you that God will step into your loved one's path!