Living With Adversity: The 12 Step Process. Step 3: Don’t Give Up On God

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”–Deuteronomy 31:6

“And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:20

He never gave up on me. I should never give up on Him. There were times when I thought that my diagnosis was so horrible that God had forsaken me and what was worse, punishing me for past and present sins. It is a horrible feeling to feel forsaken. The fear and terror that you are all alone in the world can be overwhelming. No one there to take care or watch over you.

When we were living down in Texas as a boy we traveled to Mexico for a little vacation. We went to Monterrey and were on our way back. We were about to cross over the border and there were a line of cars about a mile long from the shops on the Mexico side of the border to the border. My little mind started to wonder (I was 12 at the time and a persistent little brat), I wanted to buy a souvenir so I could show it off to my friends back home so I begged and begged and begged my mom and dad to just let me look and buy something really quickly, in one the shops across the street and I would run back as fast as I could before the line got to the border. Now before you blame my parents for anything, remember that they could see me cross the street and I could wave from inside the shop. And back in those days, Mexico was very safe tourist place, and I was the kind of boy who could not sit still even at home. I would go out and ride my bike around the block or go off with friends for hours at a time. We could be kids back then. Today, everyone is afraid to out to the neighborhood and wonder around because you just don’t know what is going to happen.

So I went to the shop and found a pretty cool souvenir (a replica of a bull’s head on a small mount that I could nail to the wall), and when I came out I did not see the car. So I didn’t panic, I just started walking pretty fast so I could make sure I could see the car. I walked and walked and walked and didn’t see them and I got the border and still didn’t see them. So I started running back again to make sure I didn’t miss them. Still no car. I run back up to the border and look for the car and still no car. Now I begin to panic, “Oh, Oh! Now what am I going to do?” I started to imagine every bad thing that possibly happen to me: I am going to become this beggar boy for the rest of my life! It’s a horrible feeling of overwhelming helplessness! What am I going to do? “God. Help me.”

Then I hear my name being called from a distance. “Vance! Vance” and my heart starts to beat fast! I start looking around, where is that coming from? “Vance, Vance.” I look carefully all the way down the line of cars. Still nothing. “Vance. Vance.” I start running towards the border again and as I get closer I hear it louder and louder. Now I could tell it was my mother’s voice. “Vance! Vance!” As I look across the border I can see her arms waving wildly back and forth, “Vance! Vance!” All of sudden my heart jumped for joy, “Mom!!” I ran as fast I could and the agent let me through, because I was on my mother’s passport and could not speak a word of Spanish. I ran and hugged my mom so hard!

Somehow the line began to speed up right after I went into the store and she kept looking back to make sure I was still there. I thought less time had gone by, and had wondered around the store longer then she had anticipated but when they got out and waited and waited to see me and nothing. When she finally saw me running closer to the border she started to yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs until she caught my attention.

The one thing I could be sure of was no matter what happened, my mother was going to find me one way or another. I could rest assured that she would leave no stone unturned until we reunited. And that was an incredible feeling of relief when I did happen. Our Father in Heaven is never going to leave me nor forsake me no matter how bad I feel! We sometimes think that our sins are so bad or our life is so terrible that He cannot possibly love us. But that is what the devil wants us to think so that we give up on God, Who is always looking out for us and wants to connect with us again. But we have hear His voice and let Him came back into our lives. Jesus says,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with Me.” — Revelation 3:20

Jesus was standing at the door of my heart and mind but I was not letting Him come in. Anybody else would have given up and left. But He didn’t. He kept knocking and knocking and knocking. When I finally let Him back in we communed together and it was absolutely marvelous reunion!! I am sure that in the New Earth, He will probably share all the times He called for me and that I would not listen. He’ll show me that no matter how many times I was ready to give up on Him, He never gave up on me!

No matter what adversities you may be going through in your life, don’t give up on God! Satan will to to tell you that your being punished for sins, past or present, and you are not worthy of His love, mercy or compassion. Reject those thoughts and remember that He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you, He will be with always even to the end of ages. He is knocking at your door. Let Him so He can eat with you and You with Him.

Prayer

Thank you Father, for never leaving me nor forsaking me even when I thought You did. Thank You for knocking at my door until I opened. I ask that whenever Satan tries to tell me that I am not worthy of You, let me remember that Jesus died for all my sins, past, present and future and His love and mercy cover me, now and everyday. In Jesus name, Amen.

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