Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 651 of Giving Thanks

As I drove home this evening, the question came across my radio, “Are you sharing the gospel with others? How are you doing it?” And, I was once again brought back to the day I was asked, “Do you believe in heaven?” That day, although there were many people who ministered to me before then,  that question was the beginning of this journey. Before than I dead among the dead, but believing that I was living greatly.  Life was in order, I had my daughter with me, I was married to the man of my dreams, we had an amazing new house, I was starting a great business and yet, as I answered, “Of course I believe in heaven”, it was the next question that stopped in my tracks.

“How do you get there?” I was a professional, rarely stumped and rarely speechless, however, I could hear myself stumble over my words, “Get there? Heaven? Hmmm. Well, if you lead a ‘good’ life, you will get there.” Before the words even left my mouth, I realized how ridiculous that sounded. And, my mind continued, “How do you define ‘good’?” And, it was that moment, that I knew I needed answers. Answers to questions I had really never asked before. Answers to questions that I know others have asked.

I wasn’t won over with verses or reading the bible, but I did read the bible and stop on verses that caught my attention; I was won over by the compassion of the person ministering to me. Through his love for Christ, he answered my questions or directed me to the answers.

It wasn’t many years before than that I had completely written God off, cut Him out of my life. In fact, I did not want anything to do with “that God”. I was convicted, however, I couldn’t really explain how it all happened, I just know that I had been hurt, abandoned, ill, addicted and was emotionally and physically done with trying to “get to God”, to “win God’s favor” or “learn about God”. “He had his chances”, was my thought, “where was he when…” was another.

On October 30, 2002 (my husband’s birthday), after six or seven months of having my heart and life exposed by God, I heard Him for the first time, “Come to me. I am here. I have been here all along – do you remember?” And the faces of every person who ministered to me flashed before my eyes; every word spoken to me in the love of Christ, was refreshed in my mind from childhood friends to family to people I had met out and about. It was hours of “flash backs” and reflection that could not be explained. I had been attending a church, while all the exploration and open heart surgery was going on  for those many months; and I did recall, John 3:16 and the words, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Did I believe? What did I believe?

I don’t know how it happened, but one day I called my friend who had been guiding me along, and asked, “If I died today, and I was still on the fence, I still have questions, what would God do?” And, my friend’s answer showed so much compassion and tenderness, “Shawn, are you truly seeking Him, and asking Him to guide you with your decision?” I answered sincerely, “Yes, absolutely, I am serious about this.” And, he continued, “God knows your heart, even before you do. He knows right where you’re at. He will lead you the rest of the way.”

As I settled back in, I realized every sin, every sinful thought that crossed my mind. I did not want to have the weight of my entire life unsettled, unresolved, so I knew it was time.

And, if I do believe, what next? Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

I believe that God, who is my God, my creator, knows that I am a sinner, that I can never live up to the perfection to be in His presence. So, the plan all along was for me to be redeemed by Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. My faith is defined by my daily interaction with God, and being able to learn who He is through every lesson. I am totally and hopefully in love with God. I define my belief as strong, and my stand is firm. I am grateful for His calling so urgently and tenderly to me and the assurance I wake up to and go to sleep to daily.

Where are you? Do you know where you will spend eternity? If you have questions, He has the answers, and He will lead you to the right place to find what you need and desire. My prayer for you today is that you will open your heart and allow that open heart surgery, by the amazing physician, I call God.

If you are tired and weary (Matthew 11:28), you can call on Him (Jeremiah 33:3), He is your hope and joy when everyone else has abandoned you (Psalm 34:18, John 3:16, Psalm 3:3-6)

“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.” ~Psalm 71:5(ESV)

© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta

Shawn Delia Boreta

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I love people. My life has been spent seeking new friendships and helping others. God's gifting is being worked out into His plan for me. I am excited to share insights of His leadings and lessons.