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Friday, March 06, 2009

God May Not Show Up Early, But He's Never Too Late


Two summers ago, my family and I visited an evangelical church on occasion. Resurrection Life, an enthusiastic non-denominational church located just south of town, boasts a large band of singers and musicians that makes it a popular draw. Curious, we snuck on over. I heard more than a few sermons there, but I only remember one line from any of them.

“God never arrives early, but He never shows up too late," the Pastor said, passionately.

I will never forget that.

In these hard economic times, with a national unemployment rate at 8.1%, and my state of Michigan crawling toward 12%, we are challenged as a people. Michigan ranks #1 as the worst state economically of all 50. Surrounded by the magnificent Great Lakes, and internally holding a recreational paradise, appearances are deciving. We are in dire straits here.

Too often I have experienced what the Pastor said. The Lord doesn’t show up at the beginning of a disaster, He tends to appear when it seems all hope is lost.

Remember that Jesus wasn't rescued before he was nailed to the cross. No one pulled Jesus down from the cross and nursed him back to health. Jesus was only saved through sacrifice. Only when it seemed that all was lost, in the natural, did God raise his Son and bless us who trust in Him with eternal salvation.

There have been times in my life when I have felt as if I hanging off the edge of a cliff. Then, a hand broke free, and I was holding on by just one. Then, my fingers slowly lost grip. Soon, I was hanging off the edge of the cliff by just one finger. But, I held on, and held on. The pain was excruciating. Even when I thought, It would be easier to just to let go, I put all of my earthly strength into that one finger and held on.

Do you know what happened?

Just before the last drop of strength drained from my body, the Lord took hold of my hand and pulled me up. My faith in Him, and trust, sparked God’s awesome deliverance power. The difference between me falling and being saved was knowing that God would show up. He wasn't going to let me fall. He never will, as long as I hold on.

God didn’t show up when I had both hands on the ledge. He wasn't going to show up when I physically still had a chance to save myself. He showed up when it seemed all was lost.

God is not an opportunistic "bailout" program. God is an investment with insured returns. When you invest in God, you will prosper, personally and provisionally. I lost over $10,000 in my 401k retirement account since last fall. But, my retirement home is a place called Heaven. You cannot buy your way into there. You can only gain entry through the blood of our precious savior, Jesus Christ. Life is smattered with liabilities, but God is our only true asset. I may not be wealthy man, but I am rich man in the Name Of Jesus.

It's not the fall from the cliff that will result in your demise. It will be from a profound fall from grace. When you let go in life, you are letting go of God. Trust in Him. He may not show up early, but when you put your faith in Him completely, he will never show up too late.

10 comments:

billkirkwrites said...

Nicely written, Kevin. It is pretty amazing how God knows just when to step in, even if it is in the form of an unexpected opportunity that we may not recognize or fully understand until much later when the crisis has passed. As the saying goes, when you're up to your neck in alligators, it's easy to forget that you originally came to drain the swamp. God seems to know just when to either get rid of the alligators or toss you a rope to pull you out of the swamp.

Bill

J. Aday Kennedy's A Writing Playground said...

Kevin,
I agree & disagree. In my life, I've learned God arrives and "saves" me when I have let go of a reliance in "self". When I am on my knees and bleeding and I turn to Him and place my faith in Him, I am saved. I think it's part of free will.
God gives us the choice to follow Him or not. Rest in Him. Only through Him can we find peace and be "saved." As long as we're scrambling around trying to do it on our own, we can't. That's not to say we should do nothing. We should 4ever be seeking His will & turning to Him in prayer.
I think He can guide our steps & our actions will reflect His desires & not our own.
It's a shame I've got to have that one finger holding on before I turn to Him & quit relying on self. That seems to be my most difficult struggle in my Christian walk.
Blessings,
J. Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Children's Author
www.jadaykenedy.com
http://jadaykennedy.blogstop.com/

Kevin Scott Collier said...

I agree J. Aday, we have to get to the point where we trust completely in God. Any doubt will not make foster His blessing.
- Kevin

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

Kevin

This is so true. When I thought my life was over, I turned to God as my only hope, He showed me the way out and up. Now I cling to that faith.

Shari
http://sharilyle-soffe.com

conarnold said...

Thank you for this inspiring post, Kevin. It's a shame that we often wait until we're at the very end of our rope and barely hanging on before we turn to God. But what a comfort it is to know He is there to lift us up again. God also brings people closer together during hard times, with a willingness to help each other. We can learn and grow closer to God during the lowest times of life.

Donna M. McDine said...

Kevin...beautifully written. Many years ago I stepped away from my religious upbringing and until I realized that something was missing bigger than myself I continued to struggle. By the grace of God I found my way back...of course life is not without it struggles, but I'm more at peace.

Thanks,
Donna
www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com

Janet Ann Collins said...

I hope your blog has a lot of readers because everyone should read this post.

Vanessa said...

Blessings on your work Kevin.

It is both inspiring and timely.

ADSLG.

Carol Brooke said...

Kevin,
At times, when I've been in the midst of pain it felt like God wasn't listening, or that He didn't care. I had even wondered if He was really there at all. I really felt this way when my little sister passed away. How could He let such a tragedy happen? Why did he leave her 2 children without a mother? There are times that we won't even understand the reasons in this life and we won't until we are free from the limitations of our bodies. Through pain we gain wisdom and strength. Through suffering we gain understanding and compassion. Above all, we must remember that the ultimate gift to God is to use the wisdom of our scars to heal others through compassion, helping and agape love.

The Browns said...

Hello there. I loved your blog..and I also thought you may enjoy my posts and pictures!! Truly they are proof...they are beautiful. Enjoy..and CHEERS TO YOU!!!!! We only get stronger through our pain...if no one suffered no one would learn how to be the best that they can be!!