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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)

TITLE: Looking Up
By Melinda Bozak
01/09/13


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Why is it the rule rather than the exception, that it takes a personal trial or tragedy for God to get our attention? This happens to us as individuals as well as to us as a nation. We go about our lives living selfishly, giving little regard or attention to our Creator the CREATOR of the universe. What in the world can be wrong with us?
Despite the blessings poured out upon us time after time, we insist on ignoring God until we find ourselves facing adversity. It has been said that if we learn nothing from history we are destined to repeat it. So why then do we just never seem to learn? The Old Testament is filled with history lessons throughout the Israelites' journey. We obviously have not learned anything from history because here we are, following that very same model... duplicating the same mistakes that God's beloved children made. It was only when they were defeated, captured, or when the blessings were withheld that they would finally return to God. There were but a few who chose to remain faithful.
It is when we've been knocked down, no longer living our comfortable lives when we are flat on our backs, that we look up to see if God is still there and if he cares about our suffering. Sometimes it takes witnessing the suffering of someone else to direct our eyes heavenward.
So it seemed that way in my case as I look back on it now. My faith was growing deeper. I had a growing burden for the souls of those around me my husband, my family, friends, people in general. It was apparent that their interests left little room for spiritual matters. We all go about our lives tending to worldly responsibilities. All the while we trudge through life just hoping for a little bit of peace and 'happiness'. How sad when God offers us abundant life life to the fullest.
God knows what it takes to get our attention and he will do whatever is necessary. As family and friends gathered around my hospital bed they saw me lying motionless. There I was, flat on my back in a coma for several days. Suddenly everyone wanted God to hear their prayers. He knows what He's doing. In the times of uncertainty, confusion, helplessness, and desperation that's when we get around to seeking God.
He heard the prayers of those people and of all the prayer chains to which my name was added. He had already intended to use all of it for His divine purpose. To demonstrate His power and to demonstrate His love. He proved that He does indeed still perform miracles. He also reveals His faithfulness in the mercies that He continues to deliver to this day.
I heard stories of how people without faith were now considering the possibility. I also heard of others whose faith had been failing, and that they now found it renewed. However, just as Israel repeatedly turned away when the urgency had passed, complacency set in. I see precious few with their eyes still looking to heaven. In the midst of a crisis everyone rallies around offering their help and their prayers. Without the immediacy of the motivating force driving us to our knees... of sometimes being leveled by tragedy we gradually go back to our usual state of indifference. To often we are only willing to invest the time and energy when we are desperate. Rarely do we continue to seek His favor for very long once an emergency is over.
God listened as I prayed my most urgent prayers and knew exactly how to reach those I was praying for. I couldn't possibly have imagined the level of creativity it would take Him to get through.
Why does the majority of people choose to follow the same path as Israel? Can it simply go back to our rebellious nature? We will have trouble. Jesus clearly states this in John 16:33. I am a living testimony that every trouble can be turned around for His glory.
We can grow in our faith in the midst of adversity. God's promise in Isaiah 40:3-5 is to make level our paths and to reveal Himself to us in Jesus Christ. We still refuse to learn from history. Sometimes He allows us to be leveled in order for Him keep His promise.


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This article has been read 203 times
Member Comments
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/10/13
This is a wonderful testimonial. I could totally relate to what you are saying. I think most people understand that feeling and have seen people turn to God, or worse blame God for the evil in the world.

The little bit of red ink that I might suggest would be to focus on your specific example. The first couple of paragraphs, you used the universal we. It can be quite effective at times, but it can also come off feeling like a lecture or being too preachy. I'd suggest that you start off with the part about lying in a hospital bed. It's an immediate attention-grabber and it's your story that you are sharing so it gets rid of that potential for a preachy feeling.

Your message is a great one and one that many people need to hear. I'd hate the thought that someone may read the first few lines and decide to skip over the rest of your story. If you started with something like My family gathered around my hospital bed, crying and calling out to God, "Why, God, why?"
I think that would grab people immediately and the reader most likely would be nodding her head in agreement. Your message is a powerful one and I'm delighted that you shared it with the world. There is a lot to be learned by your words.

Please know that this is just my own personal opinion. It does come from a place of love and a desire to help you become the best writer possible. You have a natural gift of storytelling. It's hard to think up, write, and perfect a piece in under a week. You have done a good job and with just a tiny bit of polishing I see outstanding stories coming from you in the future.

Keep writing. God has great plans for you and I have no doubt that your words will touch more hearts than you can ever imagine. You have touched mine and I am thankful. :)
Camille (C D) Swanson 01/14/13
Beautiful message and a wonderful tale to be told. I enjoyed this so much. Thank you. God bless~
Bonnie Bowden 01/16/13
History does repeat itself. Unfortunately, we have very short memories. This had a very good message. It really made me think.