“…you are a chosen people, a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, His very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for He has called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light.”
I Peter 2:9 NLT
“Lord, I saw your advertisement and I’d like to apply for the position.”
He looked at me, His eyes seeming to penetrate my being. As I sat in His Presence, my mind wondered back…
I had been raised in an acceptable denomination, complete with catechism and rote responses. I practiced the timely rituals of the faith. In my teen years rebellion was in my heart. My recently divorced mom found herself alone with 2 daughters 7 years apart. She worked long hours to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. My role was to become the caregiver of my sister and the housekeeper. In order to have some kind of self life, I learned ways to satisfy her requirements of me and still find time to do my thing. I became deceptive in my actions.
When I was 14, I had a steady boyfriend who became everything to me. At 17 I was married with my first son. Our marriage gave me a sense of stability that I had so desired. Two more sons were added to our family and we achieved the life that I had read about in my first grade reader: A house on a tree lined street that could have been called Elm or Oak Street. We were leaders in Cub, Boy and Explorer Scouts. ‘Dad’ was a little league coach.
There were the difficult things. Health issues, financial stresses and emotional disorder that found me admitted to a State Hospital at 25. When the hospitalization took place, my aunt sent me a message; “You’ve lost your faith.”
Little by little I turned from the religion of my childhood. There was no doubt in my heart that God existed, but I’d no idea how to find Him. No longer was I convinced He could be found in that belief system. I decided to consider alternative possibilities.
“Mary, did you see the article in the Enquirer about “Chariots of the Gods”? My friend inquired. That theme occupied our thoughts and conversations for months.
“Mary, did you ever hear of Edgar Casey?” I then read every book I could find on the man and his philosophy.
I read ‘The Christian Agnostic’. One big idea caught my attention and settled into my soul. When God created man He gifted him with free will, which He gave to no other part of His creation. He waits for the day when of our own choosing, we offer that free will back to Him. Through tears I called out to God:
“The only thing I know for sure is that you exist. If you want me, you’ll have to come after me. If it’s true that you are waiting for me to relinquish my free will, I do here and now. Please rule and reign in my life from this day forward.”
As the sobs subsided, I was enveloped in a palpable Presence and a great peace. I knew that I had just done serious business with God Almighty.
“Child, did you hear Me?” the Lord was asking me.
Embarrassed, I answered, “No Sir, I was just remembering…
“Do you love Me?”
Oh Lord, you know I do. Look how far you’ve brought me.” I whispered.
“You brought me out of darkness and despair and set my feet on solid ground. You taught me the difference between religion and relationship; between a life of endless doing to the reality of salvation already done.”
“Child, do you understand the position I’ve called you to…the purpose of your life in my Kingdom?”.
“I think so, Lord. You want to evidence Yourself in my life. You are my Savior and Lord, and you want me to tell others about your goodness and love. You want me to reflect your light in my daily living so others can turn from the bondage of darkness. You want to set the captives free through me.”
His eyes were glistening as He again gazed intently on me. It was so still in the room, I’m sure He heard my heart beating. Finally He stood and opened His arms to me. Well done good and faithful servant.” He spoke softy. “You are accepted in the Beloved, you are chosen…”
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