I’m watching the snow fall through my window (not a common sight in Virginia Beach) & it always makes me well up with joy & tears of gratefulness. It takes me back to 31 years ago just like it was yesterday.
I was backpacking through Europe with a friend & we arrived in a ski village in Austria to try & find jobs for the winter. My friend was a back-slidden Christian & I was most definitely not a believer – yet I longed for a real encounter with “the powers that be”. Whilst we were seeking accommodation I felt a strong sense we were being guided to a particular place & I must say I have never felt anything like that since. We ended up staying in a ski lodge guest house, hosted by a lovely older Austrian couple who didn’t speak a word of English.
We stayed there a number of weeks. Our circumstances had not changed & neither of us were actively seeking God or attending church. One morning I awoke early with the overwhelming sense that God loved me. It still brings me to tears when I think or speak of it because it was so tangible. That was the day I knew God was real – I could not take the smile off my face. During this same time period my friend got up & looked out of the window & told me to come quickly. I looked out to a sea of white – a foot or more of snow had fallen overnight. In a heartbeat God told me He had made it snow for me. It was the first time I had ever seen snow & it’s a special reminder to me.
I originally thought that fate or circumstances led me to that little village in Austria, but as I ponder that first God-encounter once again I realize it was Him all the time, guiding & leading me to a special moment He had planned to make Himself real to me.
That moment has never left me & 31 years later I am more in love & committed to this amazing God & more convinced of His reality, goodness & unconditional love for us all, than ever before.
For 31 years I have prayed for my family to know Jesus like I do – but sometimes family can be the hardest ones to be bold about your faith to. They know & expect the old you & can’t or don’t want to see the transformed you. That all changed for me recently when I flew back to my country of birth because my mother had been rushed to hospital. The reality of my mums condition & the fact that she won’t be on this earth for much longer brought the reality of Heaven & Hell home to me.
A few minutes alone with my mum, tears of repentance & a salvation prayer later & I know I’ll see my mum again. Heaven is only a moment away & despite my mums condition & state of mind – He who is faithful remembers the covenant He made with us, even if we can’t remember anymore!
God pursued my mum through me – her pathway to salvation was different to mine. I don’t know if she would be saved right now if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone & taken a risk. 31 years of prayer came down to a few minutes of boldness & discomfort. I don’t know if I’ll see my Mum this side of Heaven again, but I sure am glad I know where she’s going.
I have one question for you – when was the last time you decided to step out of your comfort zone?
God please help me to see with your eyes the reality of Heaven & Hell & help me be a person who comforts the disturbed & disturbs the comfortable. AMEN
Devoted Devotional By Sandy Hopkins