Defining Moments

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Written by Gwen N Mlondobozi

We all live extraordinary lives, but often times it’s easy to take that for granted, well at least I do. I forget what I have been through and what the Lord has done in my life and sadly count the good, great journey in my past as nothing worth noting. I once was asked ‘What have the defining moments in your life been?’ I had to stop and wait because I couldn’t find any; and that was far from the truth. I just had not stopped to ponder... to really think about the events that had made up the person I am today. I can easily think of other people’s stories but, not my own - it was difficult but not impossible. The moments were there, defining moment the ones that have me thinking ‘Where would my life be if that had not happened?’ or ‘What if I had chosen differently?’.

So, let’s look back on a few lives with defining moment that we know well:

Ruth - a choice made, to follow her mother-in-law when it would have been easier to go her own way. Simple words spoken which I think when we look at her life we can say that, that decision impacted an entire generation. Ruth made a choice and God honoured her and her life changed because of it. It was no easy choice but, it opened doors for her life to be used by God.

But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.’ Ruth 1:16-17 (NIV)

Moses - a choice made for him by his mother to leave him in a river bank with the hope that he would somehow be safer there. And indeed he was, Pharaoh’s daughter found him, took him in and his life was spared. Unlike the many sons born to Hebrew families whose lives were short, his was a long life filled with workings of God through him.

But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Exodus 2:3 (NIV)

Simon and Andrew (The brothers) - Leaving their personal lives to follow Jesus, these were two brothers doing what they did every day – fishing  - and after a call from Jesus they left their trade and followed Jesus to become two of his disciples.

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20 (NIV)

There are so many moments that we can look at in the Bible, defining moments that have changed the lives of people and we can only image what would have become of their lives had they chosen differently.  What would have become of Ruth’s life had she chosen to walk away from her mother in law? Where would Moses have ended up if his mother had not placed him in a basket in the Nile river? Would we have ever read of Simon and Andrew if they had declined to follow Jesus?

We all have moments in our lives that changed our lives...

When I think of mine they make me grateful - even the difficult ones. The Lord is always working in our lives and that we cannot forget those big moments the ones we forget and the ones we cannot seem to get out of our minds - the Lord is there.  Mark those moments, remember those moments for they are not for nothing. There is so much value in your story and it may just point another human being to Jesus.

Looking back on your life and the sum of the experiences will not just be for someone else but, you too. Going through difficult times can be so blinding but looking back can be enlightening. You may see the situation differently with fresh, mature eyes and by His grace, maybe see God’s work in that situation.

At the end of each day when the sun sets so miraculously, we are merely ordinary beings serving and extraordinary God and it’s that truth that makes our lives extraordinary.

So, What have the defining moments in your life been?

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