Story: A Love From Above….Episode 31 (By Joy Curry)
A Love From Above….
Furious with the young man Denise had thought she loved, she turned around, and started for the farm. She had considered confronting Jon right there, but thought better of it. There was a lot to be considered, she realized while driving the country road.
Was this a first offense? Probably not! Her gut feeling told her the girl had been telling the truth about the late-night ride. And what was Jon doing all those times while Dad was in the hospital, when he would take her to visit Dad, and disappear with explainations of having ‘things to do’?
Sarcastically, Denise wondered, now, who he was doing them with! What about the times Jon said he had tests, and thesis papers which would prevent him coming home on weekends? If he was unfaithful to her right under her nose, why not on campus? Now was not the time to confront him with these questions, Denise decided. Besides, he could always lie about it. If he would cheat on her, why wouldn’t he lie to cover it up?
No, she would try to get some information first! Her head would be stuck in the sand no longer! In spite of the anger, Denise found herself saddened, realizing her hopes, dreams, and plans for a future with Jon, might well be coming to an end. But, if he truly was that kind of guy, she could live very well without him! Better than she could, without being able to trust him.
But, what if she was wrong? No, not this time, Denise told herself. It was like the pieces of a puzzle suddenly coming together! Arriving at the farm, Denise saw that the kitchen light was still on, even though it was well past her grandparents’ usual bedtime.
That was encouraging. She hated going into a dark house alone at night. It would be good to have someone to talk to, but not about this, of course. This, she would have to work out alone!
Nana met her at the door, unlocking it to let her in. “Did you talk to your patient? How is she? Does she remember anything?” Nana asked excitedly.
“Oh, Nana, she is doing great. I had a good visit with her, and she doesn’t seem to have lost any of her memory! Her name is Joanie Weston and she lives in Golden. She doesn’t have any family left, except her dead brother’s family, who lives in Colorado. Her husband died a while back, and she doesn’t have any kids.” Denise hesitated just a second, then continued.
“She thinks she was being followed by a drunk driver, but she doesn’t remember the accident exactly, or how it happened. She really is nice, Nana. I wish you could meet her!”
“Me too. Well, perhaps I will. I could go visit her, you know, and tell her how we’ve been praying for her recovery. Of course, it’s because you were so involved, and concerned with her! Do you think she knows the Lord?”
“I think so, Nana. She mentioned praying. We didn’t really talk very much, though,” Denise said thoughtfully. “But, it really wouldn’t surprise me if she does.”
“I’ll pray about it, and I just may call on this-Joanie, did you say her name was?”
“Yeah. You know, I think the doctor will probably be releasing her soon. Her condition has been stable for sometime, and the traction will probably come off in a day or two. I don’t know what she’ll do, though, with no family to care for her until she’s able to care for herself,” Denise said, voicing her concern.
“We can pray about that, too. It just may be that the Lord can use us to help her in some way. It’s getting late now, and we’d better get to bed if we’re going to make it to church in the morning,” Nana said, as she began to turn out the lights and check the doors.
Quietly closing the door to her room, to avoid waking Papa, Denise began to undress for bed. Her mind was like a three ring circus, going from the afternoon picnic, to Joanie, to the possibility of being her daughter, to Jon’s disloyalty, to wondering about God, and what he thought of the whole mess.
Lying quietly in bed, on the verge of sleep, a scripture was brought to her mind. “And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, and to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28. She remembered learning it in Vacation Bible School, a long time ago. Funny that she should remember it, now. Repeating it again in her mind, she wondered if it applied to her.
The heat was already in the air, when Papa called to Denise the next morning. Feeling tired, and aching from the emotional conflicts of the previous day, Denise slowly managed to climb out of bed. Wishing she could just sleep the day away, she forced herself to get ready for Church.
Denise reminded herself how much she had learned, in such a short time, since she had been at Nana and Papa’s.
Things had happened so fast, she’d hardly even had time to miss her parents, or Todd, she realized. Of course, she was sure they were doing fine, and having fun. Well, she probably would see Todd, and Grandma and Grandpa at Church. And she would just have to sit down and write to Mom and Dad. They’d be returning home next weekend, if all went as planned, but she had their itenerary, complete with addresses. There was no excuse for not writing at least once while they were gone, she reminded herself.
Roger really was a good teacher, she decided, as he began to delve into the Sunday School lesson. She knew that he was taking classes at a nearby college with plans to eventually teach High School. He would be good at that too, she predicted, with his sincere desire to help others, and he would be a good example to his students, she knew, as he seemed to be able to live what he preached.
Now, here is a man, she found herself thinking, her mind still wandering from the lesson. Not like Jon, who went for the gusto of life.
Denise’s philosophical thoughts were interrupted by Roger’s question to her: “Denise, what did Jesus say to Nicodemus, when Nicodemus asked how a man can be born again when he is old? Do you remember?”
“Uh, I remember the story. He said something about being born of the water, and of the Spirit, didn’t he?”
“Yes, he did. He said ‘except a man be born of the water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. It’s found in John, Chapter 3 verse 5. What do you think he meant by that, Denise?”
“Well,” Denise hesitated, searching for the true meaning. “Is he referring to water baptism?”
“That’s part of it. How can you be born of the Spirit?” Roger probed.
“Does it mean like salvation?” Denise asked, unsure of her answer.
“Yes. Salvation means deliverance, from the old nature, from hell, from the curse of sin and death. A total deliverance which occurs not only in our spirit, which is the real you, but, also includes deliverance for our soul, or our mind, will, and emotions, as well as for our body. It is not always evident immediately, and Satan frequently tries to steal our peace, our health, and our salvation. But, it was bought and paid for by Jesus, when he died on the cross.
“And the Word says, in Romans 10:9, ‘that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved’. Paul says in Romans 1:16, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.’ Do you think that we should ashamed to confess the Lord in front of people if we’re saved?”
“No,” Denise admitted. No, if we believe it, we can’t be ashamed of it, she thought to herself.
The lesson went on, but Denise’s thoughts continued to dwell on salvation, deliverance from the sinful nature by public confession of what one already believed in the heart.
It is time, she decided. At the close of the worship service, when the invitation was given, she gathered all her courage, and stepped out into the aisle. Her fear was unreasonable, but rising. Knowing everyone was watching her, afraid of what they were thinking about her, and wondering how this would affect her life, (could she live up to this commitment?), she walked forward, determined, at last, to make an open, public confession, that she, a sinner, wanted deliverance. She wanted Jesus to be her Lord.
With tears streaming down her face, tears of humbleness, and submission, and with her heart pounding heavily in her chest, she stood silently before the minister as he prayed for her, then as he directed, she repeated the sinner’s prayer.
“And, oh, the joy that floods my soul”, the choir was softly singing, as Denise slowly made her way back to her seat. Her steps seemed lighter, and the day brighter, she realized, as the joy did flood her soul!
It’s gone, she thought, elated. The worry, the cares… She didn’t understand all that had happened, but there was a difference. Something very definite had happened. It was as if she was in the arms of someone who loved her very much, with a very tender, secure love! And it was real! No longer was she afraid of the future, or guilty of the past! She was just revelling in the gladness of her heart!
The preacher was reading from the Bible, as Denise brought her attention back to her surroundings.
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:17.”
Yes, Denise realized, I am a new creature in Christ. I’ll never again be the same. Once again, I’ve been adopted. Adopted into God’s own family. Thank you Lord!