Many people are attempting to create their own calm. Self-made calm is very difficult to create. The reasons for this are not only obvious but are also easily verified by everyone who has tried it. The peace and quiet sought from such a calm is too easily disrupted by the ordinary, everyday, pressures of life. Even those who seek the solace of calm by taking a vacation readily find that even there (on a beach, down a ski field, up a mountain, cruising around south Pacific islands) and then (summer, winter, autumn, spring) life’s uninvited surprises can be very disruptive. While mankind is generally unable to conjure the kind of calm that we each relish, there is a calm that comes from the knowledge that whatever may come our way there is One who knows us best and knows what’s best for each one despite our seemingly gravitational pull toward doubting it. Thus, while we long for a soul-enriching calm that dispels all of our anxieties, fears, uncertainties, and cravings for acceptance, there awaits each one of us a God-made calm that is offered freely because of the Eternal One who gave up His pleasure, comfort, riches, and divine acceptance, to make it possible when He was brutally spiked to a splintered Roman crucifix. What to many may just be a recollection of a moment which inspired much religious art was actually a Moment that defined a turning point in time itself. The time before this Moment is known as “BC” and the time after this Moment (when eternity intersected time itself) became known as “AD”. The result of this Moment was more profound than any one person has ever realised as evidenced by the tomes that are still be laboriously written elderly and learned theologians. But here is a glimpse of what they have come to realise happened as a result of this Moment and the infinite calm it now affords each of us.
This week I have heard of yet more stories of people who had no knowledge of Christianity as they grew up, yet had an almost sudden conversion to Christ. This has included the stories of several Muslims (now ‘former Muslims’) who knew nothing to very little about Christianity, and had always been taught that Islam was the one true religion, who then heard a Christian explain the gospel and were then supernaturally converted to follow Christ. (Several of these Islamic converts to Christ also had supernatural dreams where they claimed that Jesus appeared to them!) I also heard of an atheist scientist who been taught that science could explain away the need for believing in a God, who then heard the gospel and was resoundingly converted to Christ. The other story I heard was closer to home and involved a young lady who had grown up in an atheist home where her parents were actually hostile to religion and forbad her from anything to do with Christianity. Years later, she ventured into a church one Sunday morning, heard the gospel, and was converted to Christ. Each of these stories confirm what Jesus taught about the work of the Holy Spirit and His mysterious and surprising dealings with people to undergird the church’s preaching of the gospel.