When I came to Jesus whole-heartedly, it was at the age of thirty. I had made a mess of my life and from the bottom I reached out to the same Jesus I had known and loved at the age of six. I knew I had no one else to turn to but Jesus. And, true to His character, He met me atmy point of need.
I soaked up the peace and joy He gave like a parched desert plant welcomes refreshing rain. I hungered for His Word to the exclusion of all else in life, and scriptures I had memorized as a child began to take on whole new meanings for me. It was a honeymoon I’ll never forget, and my Groom was generous with grace, mercy, and need-fulfillment.
As happens with all honeymoons, the cares of life began to creep in, and I began to grieve over my wasteland past. What bothered me the most was that I had known Jesus, accepted Him as my Savior, and then through the years had distanced myself from Him and His children. Sure, I had been hurt by family members, and by Christians, too; but the bottom line was that I had chosen to walk away from the Lordship of Christ.
I believed that everything done by a person before salvation was forgiven, but I had made a decision as a child to follow Jesus, and then I had reneged. I allowed myself to be tormented with condemnation and accusations until I could no longer sleep at night. Nightmares of laughing demons pointing fingers at me terrorized me in my sleep. For months I suffered with night terrors.
Then one day, tired of being tormented, I took out my Bible and opened it at random. I asked God to speak to me in a special way. The Bible fell open to Isaiah 43:18-19, and as I read the words they seemed to jump off the page and right into my spirit.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Peace flooded my soul and I understood that God was the Redeemer of my past, present, and future. I knew He would cause all things (even my mistakes) to work together for His good. I couldn’t go back and change anything I had done. All I could do was be part of the “new thing” God was doing on my behalf. He was the only One Who was able to make streams in the wasteland.
The way He quickened that scripture to my spirit had shown me that was what He intended to do: make streams in my wasteland — do a New Thing with my mind, soul, spirit and life!
This was my first step toward moving out of the past into the glorious future God had planned for me. He reclaimed my life, showed me He was not the “accuser of the brethren,” and started healing painful memories. Even though I had changed, God had not. He had been waiting there for me all the time, and it gave Him great pleasure to reclaim one of His lost sheep.
I asked Him that day to give me opportunities to help in the restoration of other discouraged, lost sheep, and He has done so. God’s healing process goes on.
(c) 2007-2009 April Lorier