One morning, long ago, I was reading through the Book of Ephesians. As I came to Chapter Two, verse twelve, I had an experience that totally changed me.
The verse read "Also, at that time you were without Christ. You were excluded from citizenship in Israel, and the pledges [God made in his] promise were foreign to you. You had no hope and were in the world without God."
I will never forget that moment when I literally "saw" this verse in my heart. You might call it a vision, but suddenly I saw myself with my arms stretched out towards heaven, screaming at the top of her lungs. It was what was in the scream that I will forever remember. Even now it brings tears to my eyes.
Once as a very small child, I awoke from a nap to find everyone in my family gone. They had gone to town and had left me alone at home asleep. I still recall the feeling of terror at being alone.
What I felt that moment as that vision took place was magnified to a depth that shook me to my core. The horrific knowledge of being in this world without God took my breath away. The sense of loneliness and isolation; helpless with no one to turn to made me weep with deep despair.
Then I read Ephesians 2:13...
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Jesus brought me to God. He took my hopelessness, my "without God", my deep sense of despair, and opened my eyes to see what was needed to bring me near to God.
He took my place on that unbelievable day of His crucifixion. What He suffered in His spirit, soul and body, I cannot fathom. All I know is that He did it willingly. He did not know if I would ever know this truth. I was not born. I was not formally introduced to Him until 1957.
The amazing truth is that He made a place for me should I want it. He went before me to welcome me. I first heard of His love for me through my maternal grandmother, and received that already made for place at the age of seven.
He knew I would be born in this world without God. But, He made provision for me to know God should someone somewhere love Him enough to tell His story to me. My grandmother did.
So, as I awaken on this Resurrection morning, I offer "forever" thanks to my God, Who loved me more than 2000 years ago, for His plan was created before the first man ever drew breath.
"My chains are gone, I've been set free, my God, my Savior, has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace."
Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Amazing Love, how can it be, that Thou, my God, should'st die for me?
I pray you may know the peace He has given me.
I pray you know today that God never intended for you nor I to be without Him.
I pray that you may find rest for your soul and everlasting joy in knowing the love of God that sent His Son to ransom you.
Loving Him and you,