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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”—2 Corinthians 4:11-12 (NIV)
My 16-year-old walked to the front of her speech class at the State College with her hair tucked up in a scarf, concealing every strand, as she mimicked how I looked some 17 years ago. She shared her story of how my husband and I made the toughest decision to not abort her when I was diagnosed with cancer and six weeks pregnant, but instead underwent chemotherapy with her in the womb. For a teen who typically loves public speaking, and effortlessly captivates her audience, this was the first time I heard her say, “Mom, that was uncomfortable. I was the youngest student in the class, I’m homeschooled, and now they know I’m a Christian. Why is sharing our God-story so awkward?” She continued to say she felt judged by her silent, smile-free audience, especially when the next young lady to present encouraged the class to support Planned Parenthood. Her eyes widened as she listened to this opposing presentation.
At that moment, I wanted to bubble wrap my teen and protect her from those unworthy feelings, until she admitted, “But then a handful of students came up after class and said, ‘Wow, that was really cool how you talked about your story and faith and all. We’re glad your mom, you know, listened to God and now you’re here.’”
And that was it.
That was the moment I was reminded of the importance of dying to those uncomfortable feelings and opening our mouths to share the truth and life through our redemption story, even in the difficult times when we think no one is listening, and certainly no one cares. We are much like a walking billboard, advertising how God has delivered us from a sickness, an addiction, maybe a gut-wrenching divorce, or some other heartbreaking experience where it feels like we’re being given over to death and we think no one would want to hear about that, would they?
That’s the beautiful part about becoming a Christian. We’ve all been saved from something. And when we share our story and surrender to God by dying to ourselves, even our fears, that’s how His life is revealed in our bodies, that’s how He brings life out of death.
DIG: What did God reveal to you as you read through this devotional?
DISCOVER: Pray and ask Him how He’d like you to respond.
DO: He loves to redeem our bitter places by shining His hope, by transforming our spiritual death into spiritual life, and then broadcasting it for the world to see. Today, prayerfully consider acting on that whisper you heard, that next step you know you’re supposed to make.