As a young child once, I held a bible and a particular verse had caught my eye. It was from the book of Timothy in the new testament, 1 Timothy 2:5 to be exact. It said, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” I was puzzled. I went to my mother and said, “mom, look at these words!” Growing up a Catholic, they were stunning words, but these words that rang true to my heart! I said, “This means that I really don’t have to go to the priest to tell him my sins then, right?!” My mother read them and didn’t have an answer to them for me. I absolutely hated the idea of having to confess my sins to a priest. It seemed unnatural. It seemed impossible! But here were these words that gave me new breathing space. Little did I realize that they were then given to me with a purpose in mind for farther down the road.
Those words stayed with me, sort of, in the back of my mind just nesting there.
Fast forward to being a young and not so long ago married woman. I had one little son at the time and very periodically when my husband needed help with his restaurant I would go to help him out. Since I had no immediate grandparents around to help take care of my son when I needed to help my husband I employed an elderly, widowed woman named Mildred from our small community to help take care of him. It was around this time that I started having these feelings. Feelings of vagueness, and not being able to pinpoint what it was exactly that I was feeling. I wasn’t depressed or anxious. I wasn’t down or unhappy. But I walked around myself quite a bit during that time having this feeling like I was missing something. It would come and then it would go. Gradually I started feeling little by little that there was something that I was definitely missing. I just didn’t know what. And it wasn’t an awful feeling, it was more like light and drifting thoughts passing by me of missing something in my life.
The elderly woman, now named ‘Grandma Mildred’, came over again to babysit one day. I was still having this ongoing, unavoidable feeling off and on so I kind of hesitatingly mentioned to her how I’d been feeling. She didn’t say much about it but the next time she babysat she brought me a two-paperback book set of the old and new testaments written by Pearl S. Buck. She said, “Here, I brought you something I want you to have.” One evening alone in bed I started to read them. What a beautiful rendering of the story of creation and the world that God had made us! I read the many historical stories. Then I came upon the story of Nicodemus that is from the new testament in John chapter 3. Nicodemus visits Jesus at night. He is a member of the opposition, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council. But he desires to go and speak to Jesus alone because he has some important questions he has been wondering about. He wants to see what Jesus would say to him. Starting in verse 2 and going through verse 8, “He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” I sat and thought. I was stunned. And then I knew what I had been missing… I had been searching… wondering… and looking. It was Jesus that I had missed! All of a sudden all the connections were there. Jesus ‘helped me to see’ it was him whom I was truly missing. Now I am born again! Additionally, the holy spirit indwells those who are born again to help them in their lives.
And Jesus will do the same for you too. Just as he drew me he draws you. You are reading this, right?! Jesus died on the cross and rose again three days later for you. He gives you this gift – for free. A most amazing gift for you to have. This gift is ‘new life’ and ‘living water’ for your soul. Come and find peace and rest. There is nothing you have to do or can do. Just come as you are and talk to him. Tell him your all. Hold nothing back. No sin is too great to wipe clean. Just look at Paul in the new testament. He persecuted Christians and witnessed and approved Stephen’s stoning. His gift is free for all with repentant and sincere hearts.
Read the bible. This will help you to learn more and grow. In Hebrews 4:12 it says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Try it and you will see.
Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, Jesus is coming back one day!