It's been 43 years this spring since God began to teach me the incredible importance of this verse. After all, why would a healthy 29 year old ever give any meaningful consideration to those words?? It was only when God lovingly and graciously kept His promise of "working all things together for good"...to be conformed to the image of His Son", in Romans 8:28-29, that the process of understanding His ways became a startling reality to me.
The diagnosis of a life- threatening illness shook me to the very core of my being. Was I a Christian? YES. Did I know for sure that I would go to Heaven when I died? YES. Those things being true, why the utter hysteria and fear.? Simple enough. I knew that when I faced my Lord face to face, and gave an account of how I had reflected and represented Him to my world, I would have nothing but a very long line of negatives and zeros. My guilt and fear was rooted in my spiritual apathy and lethargy.
God used that day back in 1971 to change my life forever. Overnight? YES and NO. In a moment, He set a passionate desire in my heart to glorify Him with my life. Progressively, over time, He more and more and more convicted and conformed me toward Christ-likeness. As I yield to the ministry of His Spirit, in accordance with His Word, that process will continue to continue until when He shall appear, according to 1 John 3:2, I shall be like Him, for I shall see Him as he is.
On the road of life, I was nonchalantly traveling, even as a believer, under an erroneously assumed green light.
God used my "crisis" as a yellow light, dropped instantaneously before me. It caused me to make a biblical assessment of all the areas of my life, and see that the spiritual 'hub' needed drastic attention. Though saved, I had 'left my first love' and God drew me back unto Himself in dedication and commitment to His heart, mind, will and purpose for my life.
The green light will never return for me, but what a blessing to live everyday circumspectly (cautiously), under the yellow light, fully prepared for the red light at the time of God's choosing. It pleases God for us to number our days, to recognize the brevity of life, so that we live each moment as if it were the last, and apply our hearts to wisdom.
(C) 2014 N. A. Collins
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