the miraculous, non-boring testimony of a goody two shoes
I was born with Christian parents. I was in Sunday school hearing Bible stories from the womb. My mom, the choir director; my dad, the deacon. We were at every church event, meeting, potluck there was. In all my 27 years of life, I’d guess I’ve missed less than 10% of any church events happening in any church to which I have belonged. We were the first to arrive, last to go for the majority of my life. I have been as well cultured and informed in church and the Bible as I can imagine for one person.
My parents loved me, fed me, cared for me. I have never gone hungry, never been abused, never even broken a bone. The worst ailment I’ve ever had was food poisoning. I haven’t been admitted to the hospital since I had pneumonia as a 2 year old. I have no physical handicaps, not even glasses or contacts. I like healthy food. I have a college degree but never had any debt from it. The most I have ever been in debt was for a car that we paid off in 2 years of on time payments. I have always had a job when I needed one, never been fired, never done drugs, never smoked a cigarette, never been drunk, and have only had sex with my husband. I got A’s and B’s all through my education, pursued interests and hobbies, learned instruments, traveled the US, had real friends, and I’m celebrated and loved on my birthday.
So why, you may ask heartily in all your annoyance at my blessed life, why in the name of everything good would I not believe in a God who loves me? What excuse could I possibly conjure to not enter His kingdom? How could I ever refuse Him and what do I have that would ever block my sight of Him?
Everything, according to Jesus.
A man came to Him wanting an answer to how be might get into God’s kingdom. He was good, had never done anything wrong- he even honored his mom & dad.
Jesus loved him. And so, he told him to get rid of everything- everything else but the kingdom he was seeking to enter.
We’re not told that this good man ever does it. We’re only told that he walks away with a heavy heart. Then, Jesus describes the possibility for this man to ever enter God’s kingdom to be as likely as a camel going through the eye of a needle. A stinking camel through the eye of a stinking needle.
“Who can be saved, then, Jesus?”, the disciples ask in a marveling plea. Jesus doesn’t respond to their semi-rhetorical question with the expected answer, “no one”. He bypasses that harsh reality and goes straight to the only hope we all have.
“With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
So, yes, depending on how I told it, my testimony of knowing Christ could be incredibly boring and predictable. I could tell it sheepishly, assuming people may think God did not have to do much to save me- that I was set up for this life of following him, that I almost had no choice. But I am confident that were it not for the miraculous intervention of God, I would be as lost as any empty soul looking for a kingdom that I couldn’t grasp. It is because of His loving power that I have freedom from law, from love of money, from anxiety, bitterness, envy, depression and all of the other spiritual grit that would otherwise have eaten me alive.
It is a miracle that now I can say, like Peter, “I have left everything to follow You!”, and daily receive His far heavier blessings. I’m a camel that went through the eye of a needle, and I won’t hold back from telling you about it.