Friday, July 18, 2008

Behold New Things

A friend is leaving in a few days to go home to her home country far, far away from here in Michigan. Dennis and I got to know her chiefly through the English as a Second Language classes and the bible study we led afterwards. She had amazing questions and a lot of doubt about what she was learning. But she kept coming back. She was making friends with many people in our church and a Chinese church in our community and went to several bible studies other than ours. We kept hearing her name often as we connected with common friends.

There was no reason to think that she would embrace faith in Jesus. She was as far from it, in fact, most of the time we studied with her. Sometimes I detected she was on the verge on giving up because it was so confusing. Sometimes, she would bend her head and I couldn't read what was going on in it. I prayed that she wouldn't give up in frustration. I rested in the fact that it wasn't up to me, our church or even her Christian Chinese friends to persuade her of anything.

The contrast now is startling. Last September, she told us that she believed that Jesus was a prophet, not God. Now, she not only see Him as God, but her savior. A few months ago, she would look at a sentence in the passage in the Scriptures and look at every way it could possibly be explained away. Now, she reads God's Word and treasures it. I marvel at what God has done, and she knows that God showed Himself to her in a remarkable way. She'll never forget it, neither will I. But at the same time, seeing her as a child of God through faith in Christ seems like the most natural thing in the world. She is no longer the same, she is a new creation. I no longer see her old self, but her new self.

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