First Response {An Excerpt from MADE TO SHINE Devotional!)

Friends, You’ve been hearing about the book we’re writing. I think it’s time that you read an excerpt! This daily devotion comes from a very raw and real trial my family went through. I hope you encounter God’s love in a real way as you read. Please COMMENT with your feedback. What was your first response after reading this excerpt? Thanks, Elissa

Week 1: Light Source
Day 5: “First Response” By Elissa

Dad and Mom were newly married, living in a small town in Texas. Every night Dad drove home from his job in the city. Mom got a call one night about an accident Dad had been in and she knew immediately that it was life threatening.

A college student had been drinking with her friends and, thinking she could make it home all right without their help, she took off down the pitch-black highway going the wrong direction. In his small Honda, Dad didn’t see her speeding toward him until the moment the semi-truck in front of him swerved off the road.

The first responder in the middle of this dark night was a man running out of his home at the sound of a huge crash. He and his wife lived in sight of the highway. Because they called 911 immediately, they most likely saved my dad’s life.

The drunk driver died instantly and Dad came very close. Losing about 80% of his blood, breaking his jaw, his femur, right arm and crushing his ankle. It took several top surgeons nine hours to piece his ankle and jaw back together.

I was born a couple years later and I have never known Dad to be able to walk without a limp, let alone run. He has always had pain and some days it’s worse than others. Still, in all my life, I have never heard Dad lash out in anger towards God about the accident or about his pain. Amazing. Anger is the exact reaction most people would have, right?

There are a lot of responses we can have when we are at a colossal breaking point. In times you’ve encountered tragedy, what has been your first response towards God?

God understands frustrated and angry prayers. He walks with us through the grief. But, God isn’t the author of pain and evil. A writer from the book of Psalms says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1) What circumstance represents “the earth giving way” in your life?

When the paramedics were at his aid, they said it was a miracle my dad didn’t injure his head or vital organs. My grandma recalls sensing a need to pray her son that day, and she was correct. No doubt angels were near!

Though some question God’s love during tragedy, Dad became an unshakable man of faith because of his car accident. Certainly he wrestled with questions while he spent months in a hospital bed, but through it all he was convinced: God is real and He loves me no matter what.

The Bible states emphatically that God is love. And in the next beat it says, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9) If we try to resolve whether or not God loves us by a car accident, or any painful circumstance, we are looking in the wrong place.

God made the most extravagant sacrifice, by offering his life on the cross, to show you that, forever and ever, He loves you. Look at the cross. Nothing is stronger than the love God has for you.

Reflection & Action

1. Was there a time you blamed God for a bad situation in your life? Record it here:
2. What does Jesus dying on the cross mean to you?
3. Read Romans 8:31-37 and write out your prayer to God in response to this passage.

Playlist for the Day:

Britt Nicole “All This Time”
Jeremy Camp “You Never Let Go”
One Sonic Society “Forever Reign”

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” –C.S. Lewis

Please COMMENT below. What was your reaction to this read? -elissa

2 Responses to First Response {An Excerpt from MADE TO SHINE Devotional!)

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