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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

November 1, 2012 - Grace Comes

By Brenda Adams

How deep does the love and grace of God reach? Romans 8:38,39 says that nothing can separate us from God's love. It goes on to say: "Death can't and life can't. The angels can't and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (NLT).

Circumstances in life can take us "high above the sky," and they can plummet us to the deepest part of the ocean. Into that deep, dark hole where no light or hope can penetrate. There is no darkness that can compare to the place that a broken heart takes us. The report, the news, the verdict, the diagnosis that locks out all possibility of a better day. It feels as if there is no air to breathe in this place, no companionship, no joy of life. You feel alone, and nothing else seems to matter.

Have you known this place? I have. I sat on a stool watching as the ICU nurse suctioned the tube that connected Rebekah, my tiny baby daughter with Down syndrome, to the respirator at a major hospital in Florida.

We had been transferred there after Rebekah's respiratory arrest and her severe reaction to a drug given in another hospital. Rebekah left there with staph infections and a frail body from weeks of trial and error. But now we were in a place of safety where we prayed everything would be made right; we desperately hoped a normal life would be restored.

As the nurse suctioned Rebekah's breathing tube, I watched the numbers on the heart monitor: 206, 196, 85 — and then, 0. Full cardiac arrest, code blue. At that moment everything changed.

Rebekah's heart was stopped for 20 minutes, cutting off oxygen to her brain. She was revived, and we were initially told there was no brain damage. But as things progressed, she began having seizures. Because of the lack of oxygen to her brain, our precious girl had severe brain damage. We found out later Rebekah was blind and would never be able to take nourishment by mouth. We would never see her smile again.

How do you describe that moment when you get the news, you receive the bad report, or the verdict is given? I just wanted to run away from the report. I made my way to my room and threw myself onto my bed, pulling the covers over my head. I felt pulled into that dark place far beneath the sea as by some great force of gravity.

But, despite how I felt, another truth was at work in our family. Neither demons nor circumstances of life nor any degree of pain can separate us from God's love. Wherever we are, He finds us and He comes. Sometimes He comes and changes everything. Sometimes He comes and releases us from the pain. Sometimes He comes with divine strength that enables us to go on.

God always has a far greater purpose for our future than we can discern in our momentary suffering. Our family's journey was one that would last 3½ years, and this place of pain became part of a beautiful portrait of God's love and mercy we continue to experience today.

I had no warning, no prayer of faith, no heroic action on my part; but in an instant God's grace overwhelmed me. I was totally engulfed in His love, His mercy and His abundant grace. I sat straight up in the bed, threw off the covers, and loudly proclaimed, "No, we're not finished yet!"

In a split second, God came into my darkness and despair and transferred me into a place of victory and strength. I washed my face, put on my coat, and literally marched back to my daughter's bedside singing all the way: "God's got an army marching through the land; deliverance is our song and healing in our hands."

The grace that came to me that day sustained and empowered me to face with confidence many obstacles in our lives over the course of the next three years.

Friend, wherever you find yourself today, God's love can reach you and supply the grace you need to survive. No pain is too great that His love cannot heal; no place is too dark that His light cannot penetrate.

God's grace comes. We don't deserve it, we can't earn it, but because of His love for us He gives it. Unmerited, undeserving grace to be and to do what we cannot do in and of ourselves.

— Frank and Brenda Adams have been in full-time ministry for more than 40 years and pastor First Assembly of God in Triangle, Va.

 

 

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