Friday, December 19, 2008

What the Influence of the "Good News" Can Have on the Bad News

I want to dedicate this post to all my co-labors at the Sav-A-Life Center! They are indeed a wonderful group of ladies!



She was young. Very young. And whether through innocence, ignorance, or impetuousness; the reading on the pregnancy test was unmistakably positive! She was not happy about the news. She sat in the counseling room of the pregnancy center with her head down, soft tears rolling down her silky cheeks. What hope, what good news could she expect from hearing that her whole life was changing?

As I always do when I counsel with a client (since ours is a Christian based center), I asked about her relationship with God. She said she really didn’t have one. That was my cue to tell her about Jesus and how much He loves her. I explained how Jesus was born to live a sinless life so that He could pay for her sins and offer her eternal life. “Are you a sinner?” I asked. She wasn’t sure. I took the Bible and showed her we all are sinners in need of forgiveness. I shared Scripture with her that says even the best of people can not measure up to what God demands! (“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;” Isaiah 64: 6a) But in contrast, even the worst of people can be saved. (“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1: 18) But she was not yet ready to be saved. She didn’t understand. The shock of her pregnancy was too fresh; too raw in her mind to think of anything else.

I didn’t despair because my job is just to sow the seed. Others come along to water it; God will make it bring forth fruit. So I just smiled and encouraged my very young client to come back to the center for our series of free parenting classes. To my surprise she agreed to start the classes in a few weeks.

When she came for her first class I used the story of Joseph for our devotional. I showed her how many hard and hurtful things had happened to him but how God had turned all that around and blessed Joseph. “He can do the same for you!” I encouraged her. Again I gave her the gospel story of how Jesus came to earth to live and then die for the sins of each of us. Again, she declined to accept this free gift of salvation.

Her baby was due in December. I could not help but think about Mary. Of course Mary’s circumstances were vastly different but yet there were similarities. They were both very young. They were both unmarried when they found they were with child. They were both scorned when the news was made public. Of course Mary was completely without fault. She had not committed adultery. She was still a virgin. The Child she carried was the Son of God. Still she had to face the shame of being pregnant without first being married to Joseph. I believe it made me care more deeply about this young client of mine as I saw these similarities but also the differences. Mary had a deep belief and knowledge that the child she carried was God’s Son come to earth in the flesh. My client refused any relationship at all with that same Son.

Then the baby was born. A boy. A beautiful, healthy little boy. And when she got well enough after the baby was born….she brought him along and came back for more classes. On one of these visits I said to her, “I’m still praying that…”, and before I could finish my sentence her face lit up with an enormous smile and she said, “I got saved last Sunday!” Well, to say the least, it was all I could do to keep from shouting right there in the counseling room! Praise the Lord! What a wonderful ending to a woeful beginning! Her glowing face was a stark contrast to the tears and fears of her first visit. And all because God sent His Son to be born of Mary, to live a sinless life, and then give that sinless life on Calvary’s cross to pay for the sins of humanity. Not only on Christmas but everyday we can receive the Good News that began in Bethlehem! It's amazing what effect this "Good News" can generate...even in the worst of circumstances. I’m glad that I have been privileged to hear that Good News and to receive eternal life because of it.


Merry Christmas!

Marilyn

(****Note! To protect the privacy of all our clients, this story is a combination of several instances I have seen and experienced at the center and not the lifestory of any particular young woman. ****)

4 comments:

Leah said...

What a beautiful story!! I know that the Lord must look upon your work at the center with such tenderness and approval.

God bless you!!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Again, thank you for all that you do with these young women. God is using you mightily in this season of your life and theirs.

Merry Christmas, Marilyn.

peace~elaine

Joyful said...

No better gift to receive than God's Son - at Christmas or any time of the year. My eyes filled with tears while reading this post. God is good - all the time!

Merry Christmas my friend. May God's presence bring you ceaseless joy at Christmas and throughout the New Year.
Love ya,
Joy

Cathryn said...

Marilyn, Your writing is amazing. God has given you such a talent to capture these moments in words ~ it was kind of like watching a movie. I hope you will write more about your experiences at this place that gives such magnificent hope. I do have a question ~ is this a volunteer-type thing? I have a friend in Lexington, KY that does something similar to what you share but she only goes 2-4 times a month. I'm 50 this year ~ my children have all practically left the nest ~ I've been giving some consideration to volunteer work. I would love to know more. I hope you will let me know. My email is cathryn.morrow@gmail.com

God bless you Marilyn. God bless you. ~ Cathryn