The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 27, 2013

But, by the grace of God ... there go I

ENID, Okla. — Editor’s Note: A portion of this column first was written March 19, 2011.

I am so glad my column is on Sunday. Somehow it just seems appropriate. A little more relaxing, unwinding from a stressful week. Easy-goin’ Sunday morning, cup of coffee in one hand, scanning the newspaper with the other. It is my prayer that “Keep the Faith” will encourage someone to get up and go to church this morning, pick up their Bible, or change their mind about life as they see it, and give God a chance — even half a chance.

I truly write to an audience of One, and as my heart cries out to the Father-God, He deposits His heart within me.

I am no scholar, haven’t been to seminary school, nor do I have a college degree in journalism. I just love the Lord and want you to know Him as I do. I’ve often pondered the ‘why’ in God’s purpose for my life. Kinda like the stuttering Moses, who kept saying “who am I Lord, that you would send me?”

Then, one day as I was reading Isaiah 61, it suddenly became very clear what my purpose was, and why I must write this column. Verse 1 says “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Patsy Sorrels, because the Lord has anointed me and qualified me, Patsy Sorrels, to tell you about Him, Jesus Christ.” Can’t get any more clear than that.

My heart is humbled and filled with emotion when I think about where I came from and how God delivered me from the snare of the fowler, out of the Egypts’ in my life. I could tell you stories ... and maybe someday I will, but for today I just want to let you know the God I serve and the God I love is no respecter of persons. What He’s done for me, He will do for you.

Once a year, our church holds its annual Girlfriend Extravaganza. At one particular event, Pastor Tami Mendenhall shared a portion of her testimony and how God had given her a bouquet of roses for all the ashes in her life. One long-stemmed red rose was then given to each woman there.

I took my rose home and placed it in a vase on my kitchen counter as a reminder of how my Father-God exchanged all the ashes in my life for the beauty of a rose. How He gave me the oil of joy instead of mourning — a garment of praise instead of a heavy, burdened and failing spirit — instead of my former shame, He gave me double for my trouble. Ah, there is so much more my friends, hidden in Isaiah 61. Read it in the Message Bible, it is beautiful.

That rose is all dried up now, but it still stands strong, with all its petals intact.

When I look at my three beautiful daughters, I no longer feel the guilt and shame of yesterday, but I see three beautiful long-stemmed red roses, who rise up daily and call their mother blessed. When I look at my grandchildren, I see the gifts and callings, the talents. I see the anointing on each life — I see a rosebud in bloom.

When I look at my life and where I am now, I know it’s only by the grace of God, there go I. Truth be known, some of the stunts I’ve pulled should have put me six feet under. But, God in His infinite mercy and grace saw fit to save me from myself, and now it is well with my soul — and my children — and my future.

That’s why I write this column. Maybe you could care less, maybe there’s no room for Jesus in your life right now, or maybe you’re like the woman at the well who desired to thirst no more. (John 4:14).

I’m here to tell you, my friends, we are not promised tomorrow. The Bible says today is the day of salvation. Don’t put it off. Take that step of faith and make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life — today!

Let the Father-God give you a rose for every hurt and failure in your life, let Him give you double for your trouble and a message of joy in place of all the uglies and bad habits in your life. He loves you and has a plan for your life. He tells you so in Jeremiah 29:11. Read Jeremiah 17:7-8 while you’re at it — oh, how He loves you and me!  

I’m not talking about religion and being someone you’re not, I’m talking about relationship, and allowing God to take the wheel of your life and change your direction.

“For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

You, my friend, are a whosoever and God did not send His Son to condemn you, but to give you life and give it more abundantly. It’s that simple — all you need do is ask.

Keep the faith and worship somewhere today.

Sorrels can be reached at psorrels@enid news.com or at (580) 548-8140.

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