Emmanuelle

 

Life. It felt like the most precious gift I could ever be given, the most overwhelming thing to be responsible for, yet the

most impossible thing to understand. I was 18. How could I manage my life, get it right and good ? Born in France

where university is free, I decided to find my answers there, to go to the people who surely had figured it all out, knowledgeable and smart professors. I heard and learnt much about politics, linguistics and psychology etc. So what?

Each science says a bit about me and about the world, but none gets the big picture and embraces me well enough to become a reliable provider of answers, a guide. How hard it was to go through that disappointment, to feel the loneliness, bitterness of a defeated soul! I concluded that life was about living for today, stopping thinking and just enjoying good time with friends in my cosy materialistic environment. It didn’t take long before this attempt to create joy and fun, to gain and feel love turned to a pretence. I tried but couldn’t be happy. Who knew what I really felt? How much I despised you, my so called friends, how much I used you! Where should I start to get it right, to know how to live and taste real life? Again, I was thirsty for answers. I then heard these simple, true, liberating, power giving words “ Now we see a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known”. 1 Cor 13: 12. There is a GOD who knows me. He is the one I need to learn from and about if I want to know what life, my life is meant to be.

This first step of faith was soon to be followed by another one, which not only explained life, but demanded it, gave it. I was 27 and decided to read the Bible, regularly attend a church where the Word of God was explained and preached.
What I heard was the eye opening wisdom I was looking for, the big picture portraying and guiding the world and even me. That was the foundation on which to build any thought, feeling and action. Yet, there was something I struggled to understand: Jesus as the cornerstone of this foundation. What did I have to do with Jesus the Christ ? The Christian faith obviously focuses on Christ and that was a stumbling block for me. It was so till that day I spent with friends, played again the pretence game and realised the real stumbling block was somewhere else, somewhere close: in my own heart.

How could I have a better life for a better world if deep down in me things had not been sorted out ? How could God teach me, use me and even accept me, when I was just able to want to do good, but couldn’t do it ? My fate was what the Bible called spiritual death. That afternoon, I put into practice what Jesus asked and still asks every human being, from every people, language, gender, social class and any generation to do: realise and repent, open your hands and receive the life of a child of God, forgiven and therefore empowered to defeat sin and death. That afternoon I was reconciled with God, not by chance, but by grace, not for free, but because someone else has bought my salvation for me, someone else has paid the price, someone else died that I might live, someone else had been punished and crucified for my sinful nature and for my sins: Jesus, the Christ.

I have been a Christian for the last 20 years and I am thankful to God, my Redeemer and Father, and to his children for the amazing journey it has been. I was meant to get right with God through Jesus Christ. How sweet is the taste of life when His treasures of wisdom, love and help are accessible ! Come for yourself and taste !“ Jesus told them : I am the bread of life” (John 6:35a).

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