Sunday, January 15, 2012

Startling Grace [Part Two]

Another friend, another story of grace.
[Read part one.]
Sometimes God brings people into your life who need your encouragement.  When they stumble onto your path, it's clear that your role is mentor.  I had one such person come into my life last year.  One precious girl that God tossed into my world that would eventually change it completely.

She was hurting.
And she came to me.
And I didn't know what to say...

Years running from God had left this dear girl empty and starving for love.  She craved Jesus, but she didn't know it.  She was grasping for anything...anyone that would listen and love her.  She'd experienced deep, painful loss and she was giving up.

Our dialogue was honest and real.  Gut-wrenching at times.  My heart was in deep sorrow for her, for I knew exactly what she needed.  But she was not willing to surrender her heart to God.  There were glimpses of change, but they were short-lived.  Every time she went back to her old ways, a piece of my heart broke all over again.

Oh Holy God, please save her.  
Bring her to her knees before You.
Please, Lord...

As time passed, we shared more and more, and eventually she started to heal and desire something more.  She knew she needed God, but she wasn't quite ready to give it all up.  The world looked so delicious to her hungry heart...

And then God moved.  He took my sweet friend to a place far from home, a place where she had to be Jesus to the unloved.  To those who, just like her, were thirsty for something more...

She could relate.
They needed Jesus.
SHE needed Jesus.

And that's when her life really changed.  She stopped seeking love in the wrong places.  She looked up, gazed into the eyes of her Savior, and surrendered.... finally.

Floored by God's gracious love, I found myself, yet again, speechless.  This sovereign God had been putting the details in place all along, even in the midst of hopelessness.

Deeply joyful.
These are all words I would use to describe her now.  I have stood next to her all along, watching this transformation.  She is not the same person who came to me a year ago, drowning in her grief and sin.

God can take the dirtiest, most rebellious sinner and create a pure and clean lover of Himself.  After all, aren't we all dirty?  Haven't we all grieved the heart of our Creator?  Nobody...nobody is beyond His grace.

Pray hard.
Trust his heart.
Love unconditionally.

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