Disclaimer: There are no ordinary stories of redemption. They're all extraordinary!
Any time Jesus redeems a person, it's a miracle. When a nine-year-old boy hears a sermon and understands the weight of his sin, that's a miracle. When he understands that Jesus paid fully and finally for his sin, that's a miracle. And when that child puts his faith in an unseen God, that's a miracle.
I don't ever want to forget that, or minimize its significance.
But on occasion, we hear of a change made in an older person's life—a life stuck in a deep rut of sin until Jesus radically intervenes. That's the story of Evelyn, whom I know through a friend named Trudy. Trudy is an older woman who is mentoring Evelyn.
Evelyn recently came to faith in Christ. Her story is a remarkable one as redemption stories go, but again, the disclaimer above holds true: no redemption story is ordinary.
Evelyn was unfaithful to her husband, repeatedly and blatantly. Even when her husband fell ill and needed her most, she cheated on him. She lied when he confronted her and, by her own admission, was harsh and demeaning toward him.
But then it happened. Evelyn visited a gospel-centered church and the pastor's sermon on Christ's love touched her heart. It wasn't directed at her—the pastor had never met her before. The sermon wasn't about adultery, or being a good wife, or lying. Yet God aimed the pastor's words at Evelyn, and they hit the mark.
Evelyn came forward at the invitation, shaken and repentant, and a series of changes began that day. The pastor knew that Trudy had a similar denominational background to Evelyn, so he asked Trudy to counsel with this brand new Christian. Trudy is shy and retiring, so being a mentor was the last thing she expected. Yet God has used Trudy to teach Evelyn to the point that, only five months later, Evelyn is remarkably knowledgeable about the Bible. The change toward her husband represents an epic about-face—180 degrees of painful but restorative repentance.
Don't tell me miracles died with the Apostles or are reserved for missionaries in foreign lands. I know better. Miracles happen whenever a heart opens to the love of Christ shown on the cross. And this sets off a landslide of changes that result ultimately in a redeemed, resuscitated soul. Extraordinary!