Don't Give Up

"Nicodemus said to him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"  John 3:4

She looked so small sitting on the overstuffed chair, her feet barely resting on the ottoman in front of her. She sat playing with a little strip of paper rolling it over and over again with her finger.

“What does it mean to be born again?” I looked up, surprised by her question.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well you people are always calling yourselves born again Christians. What does this mean? How can a person be born when he is old?”

Her voice was quiet, not accusing. Her eyes were downcast, looking at the paper in her hand. My husband, Anthony, who was in the kitchen, overheard her question and walked to where we were. He looked at me as I mouthed the words “Please pray”.

The woman in the chair was Rosie, my mother in law. She had been released from the hospital the day before. We were supposed to spend Labor Day together but when we went to pick her up at her home we found her sitting on the floor disoriented. Her normally immaculate home was a mess with dirty dishes everywhere. Even her body was dirty. We cleaned her up and took her to the Emergency Room. We thought she had suffered a stroke, but a CT SCAN showed she had a tumor in her brain that took up one third of the space in her head pushing the brain over to one side. She must have been in so much pain. I had been with her only two weeks earlier, but she had never complained.

When I looked at her CT SCAN I had to go outside. My heart cried out, “NOOOO!!!” Tears streamed down my husband’s face as we listened to the unthinkable. Because of her insurance coverage she was released to us for the two days until the day of surgery when they would try to remove as much of the tumor as they could.

At the time of her release I was angry, wondering why they would send her home. She could barely walk! But, as we sat in my living room less than 24 hours before her surgery, I realized God had a plan. For nine years we had been praying to hear the question she had finally asked. 

Anthony prayed silently as I shared the gospel with his mother. “We say Born Again because when we give our lives to Jesus we are recognizing He died on the cross for our sins. He did that because our sin separated us from Him. The act of confessing and repenting for our sins and accepting the gift of forgiveness is called being ‘Born Again.’ The Bible tells us

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

I took a breath, praying silently for wisdom and said, “The Bible says He did that because He loves us."  

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.  John 3:16-17

She looked up at me and her eyes filled with tears. “I’m scared,” she said.

“Do you want to pray and ask Jesus into your life so you too can be born again?” I responded. "He will take away your fears and replace them with His peace regardless of what happens during the surgery. After that, you are assured you will be with Jesus for all eternity.” She nodded her head and prayed that day to receive Christ. For the first time since I met her I knew she would be fine. 

On Thursday she had the surgery. When she woke up she smiled at me and said, “I surrendered!”

I cried as I wrote this because I believe, while she was having the surgery, our Lord revealed Himself to her. The rest of her days were peaceful. She was free of fear possibly for the first time in her life.

Rosie died 15 days later. She fell asleep on September 17th and woke up once to talk and smile at her sons gathered at her bedside. She then fell asleep until she went home to the LORD on September 19th.

I write this to tell those of you who have stubborn family members who refuse to see the need for Jesus Christ in their lives – GOD has a date with them. Don’t ever give up on them. Keep praying. Keep believing God can reach them and save them. He saved you. What He did for you He can do for them.

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God the you may know that you have eternal life."  1 John 5:13

by Eve Montano