This year, April 16 is a particularly special day for me. It’s the 20th anniversary of the day I fell 35 feet from a cliff. It was 10.30pm at night, hiking in an isolated ravine in the mountains west of Sydney, Australia. The hike was a part of a Missions Training School I was doing, preparing to serve the Lord on the mission field. I was not a hiker, but here I was set in a situation I had little control of. All I could do was suppress the fear within me and trust Jesus with everything I had.
After hiking for over 3 hours in the dark, with few torches and only a few minutes away from where we were going to camp for the night, my left foot slipped on the terrain and I began to fall. I thought I was going to land in the river below, but thankfully I was wrong. I didn’t land in the river, where I could have drowned, but on the dry creek bed next to it. As I awoke some minutes later, my body wracked with pain, and my mind feeling like I was in a dream, my life had changed.
April 16 1994 was a ‘turning point’ in my life. I’d gone from being a happy, healthy young woman with life before me to a life filled with pain, disability, depression and a hopeless future. There are times in each of our lives when we have turning points. Some of course can be good, like when you gave your heart to Jesus, the day you were married or the birth of your children. These are major turning points in people’s lives. However some turning points carry with them a negative change, such as what happened to me. Maybe you had a major accident, went through a divorce or were a victim of some kind of abuse. It could also be the day when you lost someone very dear, a family member, and it was like a part of you died too. Even as you are reading this your mind has gone straight to the moment that your turning point came and you can feel the pain as you remember.
I want you to know today that Jesus is right there in your suffering, whether it was yesterday or many years ago. He knows what you went through, He understands your pain. And even more than that His heart is to bring you healing. Today’s verse is written by the prophet Jeremiah to the Israelite exiles being held captive in Babylon. These exiles had gone through unimaginable suffering, losing everything and being exiled in another country. And yet this is the heart of God, to bring healing and hope for the future. By the grace of God Jesus healed me at an Ellel Ministries conference in 1996. All the physical pain, all the depression, all the fatigue was gone in one night!! It was another turning point for me, this time however Jesus was giving me a future filled with life, health and hope.
So no matter what hardship and suffering you’ve faced Jesus wants to heal your heart and re-write your future. I’m so glad that I trusted Jesus. Indeed the journey has at times been difficult. I won’t ever be able to forget April 16 1994 for the rest of my life. However I can see now that the suffering I’ve been through has made me who I am today and I’m actually the better for it. And so it can be with you too.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, today I bring you the ‘turning point’ that’s on my heart. I know that You know what I went through and you understand the pain I have carried. Please forgive me if in any way I have blamed You for letting this happen to me. I’m sorry. I ask You to take me through the process of healing any unresolved pain. Please restore my life and hope again, and show me a picture of the wonderful future You’ve planned for me. Bring me to the place in Your time where I can even be thankful for my ‘turning point.’ In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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