“Jesus watches us”……. that’s the line that jumped out of my Dad’s letter to me.
There is a story God longs to write on your heart. You may not know it, but your very own life has an BC and an AD attached to it. God has thrown the invitation out and is waiting for you to accept. Salvation is the modern-day miracle of our times. Our redemption story is the single most valuable thing we can offer to a world waiting for hope. A changed life is the single most powerful testimony of God’s glory here on earth. You say miracles don’t happen? Look in the mirror. If you are a Christ follower today, you are a miracle.
As I was sitting in my “prayer chair” this morning I started thinking about the changed lives in my own little circle and then I looked back on my own life and I had to go from sitting to kneeling in a hurry. What grace has touched my life. At the age of somewhere around 13 or 14 I felt the Holy Spirit’s tug and I knew it was a decision I couldn’t put off. Where did that come from? I can still remember the night of my Baptism, the pastor in waders, me looking out to the crowd and giving my profession of faith……taking my place quietly after it was over, wet head and all. And the years after……when He pulled me back from the brink, delivering me from anorexia with that one dream and how the very next morning I ate food again. It was scrambled eggs and we were all crying, Mom and Dad and I.
And I remember Elaine when we first met and how she asked me how I could be so hopeful when she knew my husband had just died. Her life had started out in church but she had left that behind, as many of us do. Her path was diverted and for a while she wandered, but God was waiting to finish His story on her heart; He remembered that little white-haired girl with the flouncy skirts, sitting in her Uncle’s church in the front row requesting songs while her Aunt played “I’ll Fly Away.”
She left a whole life behind when she came to our town, and I never realized at the time how hard that probably was. She was baptized in a river, which her parents thought was crazy, but they were there anyway. And on the way home that night we ran over a carpet on the freeway. To this day we still laugh about it, how it caught under the car smoldering and it was like a Chinese fire drill, everyone bailing out to dislodge it.
I think of my Mom who was raised in church but didn’t know Jesus until around the age of around 35 or 40. When she met Him her life changed forever. Before, she worried about everything and had two bleeding ulcers to prove it. After, she was healed, body mind and spirit. She has impacted many lives by stepping out in faith, introducing herself to strangers and inviting them to Bible studies too many to count over the years.
And my Dad and brother have their own redemption stories too, no less miraculous. My Dad met Jesus in a church he didn’t particularly like……but Jesus is like that, He can show up anywhere. My brother wasn’t too keen on that church either, but on Easter Sunday 1982 he walked down the aisle as I sang in the choir.
My brother’s wife miraculously met Jesus after someone invited her to a play about Heaven and hell. Not long after she went through her own personal hell of chemo and cancer. She gave it all she had, but it wasn’t enough and my brother’s love big as it was couldn’t hold her here either. In that battle, it was Jesus love that broke through in the midst of her pain and said, “I’ll take it and you.” She died with a smile on her face and sings today with the angels.
The heart-breaking truth is: Sometimes the prayers for healing aren’t answered and no one knows why, but the important thing is, we know Who she’s with right now.
The single most important event in your life has either taken place or is waiting to take place.
It’s just three words, “Yes, I believe.” Someone is waiting to hear your redemption story today……….Like the eunuch, they are ready to say yes, they just need the right Someone to put their hope and trust in.
And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:26-39