She is a queen of a woman, long in years and experience. She has no education, but she has a wise, sensitive heart. Against the opinions of the family around her and even her own belief system, she accepted me as a Christian a long time ago.
I've prayed for her for a long time too. I've even carefully shared what I believe. She's always been patient with me. But she's known her faith for much longer than she's known me. It is her identity, her world. Many times I've wondered how a 76-year-old woman, alone in a village where she's lived all her life, could ever embrace Christianity? What would He expect of her? How would He grow her faith in Him?
Recently, as I was visiting with her, I felt impressed to talk about Abraham and the sacrifice of his son. I knew she knew the story--at least the first part. I also told her about the ram in the bushes that saved the boy. (I decided it didn't matter what the son's name was.) I explained that, like the ram that God Himself provided in place of Abraham's sacrifice, Jesus came from heaven to be sacrificed instead of us, for our sake, in our place. He gave Himself for us.
She looked at me keenly, with an awareness that only the Holy Spirit can bring. "So that's how it is?" Yes. That's how it is. Simple. Clear. After all the years, after all the conversations, something new registered.
"Do you believe Jesus died for you, so you could be saved?" I asked, wondering if she really understood the personal meaning of what I had just shared.
"Yes. Yes I do! I see it now. Do I just need to believe it?"
"Yes, it first happens inside, in your heart," I assured her. "Let that change you inside, because you know what Jesus has done for you."
"First inside?" I could tell it was a new thought for her, an exciting thought. "Should I be baptized if I believe, like you were?"
So many questions. So many hurdles ahead. So much God knows at each step. But "He who has begun a good work, will continue it..." (Philippians 1:3). --NO