And He so changed the world….
As night becomes day, so did the new dawn come. Apart from a feeling of utter joy, there was the sensation of the world having changed its axis. There was a clarity to sight and hearing that astonished, and a feeling of wanting to share. The guilt trips of the past had been erased, and were incredibly difficult to recall. For the first time, I understood what forgiveness really meant, and with the parallel loss of any sense of hate or anger, it was also the lesson of being able to forgive others. It was like suddenly being able to speak a new language.
So many others will have described the hunger that comes from the change wrought by Our Lord in such cases, the hunger for the Bible, the clarity of understanding, and the sheer gratitude for having picked on such a poor example. The counter to the latter is that the worse the sinner changed, the more evident His work is shown to be.
Any suggestion of getting a message would have been previously dismissed as imagination, and yet now they were much harder to dismiss. When the same image appears in the mind night after night, it is not so easy to disregard. The image was of standing up in our church and telling all, something that simply did not happen in our village. And yet it would not go away. There were 3 ‘reminders’. The first night, it was hearing the testimony of another in which she had ignored a message, until eventually she gave way. The 2nd night, it was taking the Bible, and finding it opened at the story of Jonah. He too ignored the message until after he was obliged to enjoy a cruise in a passing whale’s stomach. The 3rd night was opening a book of a well-known American pastor, and finding the first lines of the new chapter stating that ‘you have a duty to tell others, for if you do not, you do them a great dis-service’.
Ok, message understood! So some weeks later I did the previously unimaginable.
The other message was so clearly implanted that I have not for one second doubted it. We all have to learn to ‘Worship for Ourselves!‘ Mere attendance at church and reciting ritual is not enough, we cannot allow others, eg, the vicar and choir, to do it for us.
In that regard, we each have to get closer to Jesus, and invite Him into our personal space and lives. How often have we heard that all we have to is open the door wide to Him, and yet how many of us have reservations about entrusting our lives to another, and therefore keep the safety chain on the door!
Perhaps the only time for many of us is when we descend to the very depth of despair, beyond all hope of self-recovery, and beg Him to do with us what He will. Such was my case, and He answered with His help and love.
My experience converted belief (or hope as non-believers might prefer to call it) into knowledge. Everything that has happened since has reinforced that Jesus is real and alive for us here and now.
Thank you Lord for everything.