photo(11)“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”

Sometimes we need to be reminded that our past molds us into the person we are today and gives us the tools and wherewithal to conquer our future.  The good, bad and ugly can all be learned from and it is our choice what we do with our circumstances!

Ohhh…how I wish this was easier to remember at those times of disillusionment, disappointment and despair!!

No one in this world is perfect, nor will any of us ever be.  However, how we live our lives and what we do with them is what separates the haves and have not’s.

This past Sunday, I was fortunate to hear a woman’s testimony of courage, determination, setbacks and perseverance.

Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. James 5:11

The story wasn’t typical to any we would hear in the United States where most of us have never been hungry, cold, or done without basic necessities of clean water and a place to rest our weary heads.

This woman is from South Africa where women are expected to grow up, make babies and take care of their families.  Women are not raised to think beyond this box of subservient living, but instead to abide by cultural values that have been passed down for centuries.

You can imagine her family’s surprise when she said she did not want to adhere to the common standards of her community and in fact, was going to go to school to do something else.

Her journey is not one without hard work, slamming doors, not enough money, disdain, road blocks, or a whole passel of loneliness and strife.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2Timothy 3:16-17

My South African friend learned early on that God is the Maker of Miracles, but this doesn’t mean He makes the road to our miracles easy.

The wonder of God is that He always makes a way for us to live out His purpose and it is ALWAYS better than any plan we could have ever come up with!!!

This sweet South African lady continues to face obstacles as she journeys to her destination – the one God has placed her on – and since she is only in her mid-twenties, I would dare say she has many more years of mountains and valleys to climb.  But, she has already learned an important lesson of trust and tireless diligence.

After many years of difficult struggles to complete her education, my friend now works in the United States and lives in Austin, Texas – which is where her life intersected with mine.

I am blessed to have her in my life.  She has opened my eyes to the struggles of many and that there is an opportunity for each of us to help someone else less fortunate – AND THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE WORSE OFF THAN YOU.

Her story makes me wonder why so many of us live being ashamed of our past, doing nothing in our present and fearing our future.

Have we not heard that Jesus Christ is our Savior?  He makes us new and provides a way to eternal life!!  Our earthly lives are just a practice performance of what is to come!

Are you making a difference with your life?  What does your past, present and future say about you?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 6:16-19 – There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

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