Many years ago I was in a very broken point in my life. I was angry at myself for a terrible act I had committed and I felt that God should be and was angry with me. I was sitting at an airport waiting for my next flight home, when I felt in my heart that I needed to move from my home city back to the city where I had gone to college a couple of years earlier.
Although, I did not recognize the voice of my father at the time, he clearly had spoken to me. In the darkest moment of my life, not only had God not forgotten or forsaken me; “For God has said, I will never leave you; I will never forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5, he had spoken to me.
Within thirty days I had packed up all my belongings, broken my lease and moved, still broken, and in desperate need of his healing touch. Although, at this time I still did not realize exactly how lost I was, He had a plan brewing that would ultimately change the course of my life forever. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11.
Fast forward several years, I was enjoying time with my family one evening, while as any mom would do multi-tasking and organizing a big bag of old photos and momentous. I was rummaging through pictures, cards, letters, and graduation programs when a small blue guitar pick fell into my lap. In that very moment, God reminded me of a time shortly after I had moved back.
It was a story I had long since forgotten, yet a story that clearly needed reminding. It was my birthday; I was alone for the first time in twenty-five years. A few days before my birthday my Mom had called and surprised me with concert tickets to see a popular band at the time, I very much wanted to go yet I didn’t have the money to travel back to my hometown, so I thanked her for her gift and told her to take my sister to the concert instead.
My birthday was a beautiful day in March, I enjoyed all the day had to offer and I decided to head to the grocery store to cook myself a nice birthday dinner. I finished purchasing my groceries and something caught my eye as I was returning to my car. A woman was sitting in her parked car with a handwritten sign on her windshield. My first thought was, “How strange”, yet I was perplexed and curious and decided to inconspicuously walk by her car to read what the sign had to say.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, this woman was giving away her ticket to the very concert I had to miss because I couldn’t make it to my hometown and the concert was starting in less than two hours. I was speechless as I accepted her concert ticket and started bawling when I got back in my car. Although, at this time I still did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I knew this gift was from him and I for the first time in a long time allowed myself to receive his love and his gift.
The concert was great but the next day life went on. I wish I could say that I surrendered my life to Jesus that very day, yet I didn’t. One thing I was reminded of was that he knew I would continue on a path of destruction for several more months, yet He still chose to show his love and adoration for me in a very real way that a lost, broken and un-healed person could understand.
This is the heart of our father, he not only loves and lavishes the righteous, yet he continuously makes himself known to the unrighteous. His heart is that all his children come to know him with a personal relationship. First Peter 3:18 best explains, “For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the
guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit”.
Several months after my birthday I again found myself in a very dark and hurting place. I was pregnant and found myself alone once again. Looking back, God was still with me; he had his eye and his hand on me and joined me to a wonderful church that warmly and lovingly welcomed me as a soon to be single mother. It was here that I re-dedicated my life to Jesus, received the Holy Spirit and began the healing I desperately needed. I am reminded of the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.
“I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants. So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son! But the father said to his bond servants, bring quickly the best robe and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. And bring out that fattened calf and kill it; and let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry, because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel and feast and make merry.”
I was the prodigal daughter, I had come back to my father, confessed my sins at his feet and all of heaven rejoiced as another child of his was found and made alive again.
That evening after I had put the guitar pick away in a safe place, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness of where God had brought me and what he had done in my life. I was thankful that as his word says he never forgot about me and that the plans and proposes he had created for my life he was saving for the day I would surrender my life to him. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart”. Jeremiah 1:5.
I believe this was the reason he used a guitar pick to remind me of a story that is about much more than a concert. It’s about the heart of a loving father that sent his son to die for me!
“For God so love the world (that’s you!) that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16