It is such a privilege to be in a position of trust and confidence in the hearts and lives of the women who live at the Women of Hope house. Most of us, staff and residents included, have been wounded over the years and have lived outside of God's care and protection as a result. But, the good news is that no matter far we stray and no matter how long we resist His gentle persuasions of mercy and grace, God never gives up on us. As Revelation 3:20 states, Jesus is at the door, knocking. He doesn't just show up one time and one time only, He patiently waits for us to come to that place where we are ready to reach out to Him and open the door an allow Him in.
Recently, Sarah, who's lived at the house for about 10 months opened the door and invited Jesus in. It's a miracle, really! She had many ideas and beliefs that conflicted with what the gospels teach us about who Jesus is and what He has done, and because of old wounds she found it difficult to trust. But gradually God, by the ministry of the Holy Spirit - and perhaps with the help of the DVD version of the Gospel of John (incredible word for word interpretation featuring Henry Ian Cusick who brilliantly portrays Jesus) - she is learning to trust and has set aside her need to understand with her mind and become a woman of faith, believing with her heart. Already there is a pronounced change in her countenance and in her relationships with herself, with God and to others.
Witnessing the power of God at work healing and transforming Sarah comforts and inspires me to greater faith as well. I remember all that He's done for me and in me, which is good because lately I seem to be focussed on the "un-transformed" parts of me instead of on the transformed ones. While some changes are immediate when we invite Jesus to come in, there is also a gradual process of healing and change as well. Paul instructs his converts in Philippians 2:12-13, to work out their salvation with fear and trembling "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Thankfully, as Paul teaches, we have God to help us and to guide us as we work out our salvation. It is He who heals us and transforms us, though we have work to do too.
God is good all the time and I'm so blessed to be able to witness to His goodness towards me and in the lives of others. "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" Revelation 5:13