I had no idea that walking into a church foyer would change everything.
In the weeks leading up to that day I found myself kneeling by my bedside and crying out to God. Life had become extremely challenging and I was having trouble meeting the challenge. I am so grateful that what had been impressed on my heart in Sunday school and church as a child became the compass that led me to the church that day.
Through the foyer and to the right there was a group of ladies seated around a table, engaged in conversation. They greeted me as I took a seat and placed the leather bound Bible my grandparents had given me some years ago before me.
After some informal conversation the pastor‘s wife asked if any of the ladies had prayer requests. They shared their burdens and needs. She invited us all to bow our heads and began to pray. When she was finished other ladies around the table also prayed aloud.
As I sat with my head bowed and my eyes closed I heard in their voices a familiarity and a proximity with God. It was like He was a close friend. I could hear a deep confidence and assurance that God cared about them and what they were praying about.
The remainder of the time we shared was spent discussing different passages of the Bible. I opened the crisp new pages of the Bible that I had started to read many times and struggled to understand. When I looked at the ladies around the table I noticed that their Bibles were not new like mine. In fact, some of them were literally falling apart!
I sat and listened as they shared. I heard they way they spoke about the words in that book and how it connected with their everyday lives. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but by the time that meeting was done I knew that I desperately needed what those ladies had.
I came back the next week.
And the week after.
In the weeks and months that followed I gained a life-changing understanding of what was different about the ladies around that table.
I re-discovered the truth about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. I already knew and believed the story when I walked into the room that first day but what I came to see was the significance of what I believed. It had not impacted my life as it should have. I discovered that who Jesus is and what He did for me has far reaching implications in my everyday life.
Jesus, God’s only Son, gave His life as a ransom for mine when He went to the cross. He paid a debt He did not owe. He paid my debt. He is worthy of all of my love, all of my affection, all of my allegiance, all of my devotion, all of my time, talents, treasures, and energies. My allegiance to Jesus as my Saviour is personal… and it should deeply impact my day to day life.
Over the years since that day, the crisp pages of my Bible have been earmarked, highlighted, marked up, written upon, and have even been stained with tears… evidence of the journey I choose daily to walk with Him. Not perfectly, but with the deep seated assurance I witnessed years ago around a table with a group of ladies who put Jesus first in their everyday lives.
I remember them and I am grateful.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17