Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Only Trust Him"1 (Lyrics)
Are you aware of God-given opportunities? At the time, I wasn't!
My cousin turned 80 on Friday, April 24th. Two days before, my phone rang, and thankfully, I recognized her Rochester area code — not a telemarketer — so I answered "Hello" numerous times. At last, I heard a very weak voice, "Yesss?" I asked, "Oh my goodness, Bonnie, what's going on?" Again, a fragile voice quivered out a response: "I'm in the hospital." I discovered that she had gone in for heart surgery but ended up on dialysis! Momentarily, I was speechless. My heart went out to her. I told her that I wished that I could give her a big hug, but since that wasn't possible, suddenly, I became aware of the opportunity that God was providing. Right there on the phone, I prayed aloud for her, asking God to give her the warmth and comfort of His presence right there in her hospital room. She thanked me feebly, saying, "I needed that!"
I sensed strongly that it was the right time to share my experience with her from my heart. I said that I couldn't understand why some people talk about death as a fearful thing, because I am personally ready whenever God wants to call me home. She agreed. I told her that I believe that because my husband Bob accepted the Lord's sacrifice for him, he has already seen the Father's face, touched our Saviour's hand, and is praising Him in His nearer presence. After all, I said, Jesus promised the thief on the cross, "Today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43 NIV) She sounded somewhat stronger at the end and uttered agreement to what I had said. Even though she knew, Bonnie seemed to need reassurance.
Two days later, she died!
Thanks to the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, "Death has been swallowed up in victory!" (1 Corinthians 15:54b NIV)
I believe that God was at work urging Bonnie to call and filling me with the courage to share a topic that so many shy away from. Thankfully, I responded to His nudging, on the spot. Oh, that we would each become more and more sensitive to the opportunities that He provides us. Little did I know that there wouldn't be another opportunity later. What a comfort to me now as I know that it had been the right timing. In chatting with her sons, they were so thankful to learn about our conversation.
1 Peter 3:15b – Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (NIV)
Something to ponder: Are you ready and sensitive to when someone is asking you the reason for your hope, even if they don't actually verbalize it? It's something really worth sharing!
Prayer: Our dear Father God, thank You so much for the sacrifice of Jesus on that horrible cross for sinners such as each one of us. Because of His glorious resurrection, we can face tomorrow, even in the midst of whatever "storm" we're facing. Remind us to be alert and aware of opportunities that You provide. Give us courage to speak up and share the good news and the hope that we have. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen!
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Good example for all of us, Mary Lou.
Thanks for the encouraging words, Mary Lou.
So important, thank you Mary Lou. God bless!
You truly are a blessing!
Thank you for sharing your story and may God be with you and your extended family.
Dear Mary Lou:
Everyone needs someone like you in our lives. I am so glad you were there for your cousin. God is so good.
May He bless you and keep you on the palm of His hands.
Good morning Mary Lou,
I read your devotional this morning, good words, it is so good to share our feelings with those who are suffering.
Thank you for writing.
Well I really like this devotional, we have talked with our children we are 85 and 84 and my older sister. We have decided if we get COVID-19 please let us go do not put us on that horrid respirator just let us go home to be with our Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are ready,
Well-said, Mary Lou! What a warm, wonderful memory of that talk with Bonnie, being given the words to say and knowing, without a shadow of doubt that they came directly from God. I’ve been there too. Open our eyes that we might see – that whole hymn is one long prayer about exactly what you’ve said here today.
Dear Mary Lou,
Thank you for your reminder to be in the moment and hearing deeply what God might be helping us to hear. We always need good nudges along our journey. It is wonderful that you were there for your cousin when she really needed someone to understand. Blessings.
Dear Mary Lou,
Thank you for this devotional today. Truly the Lord’s timing was just right to guide you at the time you talked with your cousin. We need pay attention when He nudges us to speak up and share the reassurance we have of His love and care.
Blessings for this writing.
Dear Mary Lou,
My mom is currently in a similar situation. She is NOT doing dialysis, and so is on her final days.
I also was able to minister to her as you did, and being both strong in our faith, we know the future God desires for her (and me).
Your post was a blessing.
Thank you. The Holy Spirit does prompt us to speak, we would be wise to listen and attend when He tells us to! The Holy Spirit told me to get to get to the hospital and stay there. My husband had just had serious surgery and I stayed in his hospital bed that night. He died in my arms that night! The Holy Spirit knew that I needed to be there. The Holy Spirit continues to guide me daily. God is faithful, and I will be with a great crowd of witnesses in heaven when I return. My husband was in excellent health. But God is faithful.
Amen Mary Lou.
It reminds us that it is always the right time when he Spirit prompts us.
Dear Mary Lou
Thank you so much for your inspiration to motivate us to action when the opportunity arises.
May the Lord bless you as you prepare to write again.
Dear Mary Lou,
It is wonderful that God gave you the opportunity to give the dying lady assurance. Thanks for sharing.
Praise the lord.
Hello Mary Lou,
God bless you as you continue to respond to His leading!