In late November 2010, I was traveling through some very dark days leading up to my rebirth in Christ. I had just had a major fight with a friend whom I had been seeing, she was seething, I was regretful but also seething. I lied to her and said I spoke to my RC priest about my outburst, anything I could do to quell the pain I tried. I said more Hail Marys than usual, but nothing seemed to work.
My finances were in shambles as well, after years of recklessness, everything was tumbling. I had not left my former relationship completely either, which was also stupidity on my part since this is a person who had just scammed thousands of dollars from my bank accounts. The HOLE I was in was getting deeper by the day as I sleepwalked through, trying to make sense of it while also covering it all up.
I was quite argumentative with my friend all throughout this period, we disliked each other greatly for things which were said. She didn’t know it and don’t think to this day she knows it, but she was the vehicle God used to break through to me. I tried to make things right, so with my shattering finances I decided to buy her an IPAD she wanted for Christmas. At that time, they were around $700 for the model she wanted, so I took the bullet and purchased it to her surprise.
Instead of waiting until Christmas, I gave it to her in early December. Something inside me kept pressing to do this, and I know now what it was. See, I thought at that time it would be a peace offering, showing I did love this person as well and willing to sacrifice my well being for hers. But it was not the reason as I was shown by God.
In mid-December, this same IPAD was pulled by my friend in a busy restaurant. She said “my pastor said we should read the Bible together, so that’s what we are going to do!” I honestly said “Great, that would be fine” or something to this effect, not knowing she would respond with “Ok, how about right now!”
She went to Bible Gateway on her new IPAD and pulled up the Gospel of Mark, and began to read out loud, not in a small voice, but a loud voice. I honestly was embarrassed, this had never been done like this in my life, and was more worried at first about the people around us, “what are they thinking”. Yes, a devout Roman Catholic that I was, was completely embarrassed at first.
The embarrassment then went to complete attention and interest when she got to this point in Mark 1:14-18, as I read along on the IPAD, “Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”
I look back on this and know now this is when God opened my eyes to His truth! I had read this before as a Catholic, but never really understood, now I did and my eyes took hold of “they immediately left their nets and followed Him”. I could place myself as Simon or Andrew, as I have a brother. My thoughts were on the words “immediately left their nets”. I had never done this! I claimed to be a Christian being a Roman Catholic, but cannot truthfully say BEFORE this point that I would have ever immediately left everything for Jesus. I would have had a negotiation such as “Jesus, can I get back to You? I have all these things I am doing”. There was never any leaving for Him before this point, but now in an instant my heart had changed. I understood “they immediately left their nets and followed Him”, because every bit of my soul now yearned to do just this!
I was about to leave everything, including my Roman Catholic faith which had deceived me. There would be no long drawn out negotiation, God meant to have me and it would be right then and there in that busy restaurant on an IPAD I had bought for a hurt friend to glory in myself. My unconditional surrender came without a murmur, without a “please Lord, give me a couple of weeks”.
God made absolutely sure there would be no boasting in myself. The narcissistic friend who read out loud the words, the IPAD I was able to purchase without having stable means to do so, the busy restaurant away from any vain religiosity. The conviction would come by His means, His way, and in a way I never would have expected nor would probably any common sinner.
The point is, God will use ANY means! There isn’t some cookie cutter religious nonsense to find His lost sheep. His Gospel can come to you in the least likely circumstances at the least likely time as in my case. His word can cut through the most stubborn hardened heart, and believe me, my heart was harder than diamond before my rebirth.
In the end, you will realize that the only praise and honor and glory due goes to the God who pulled you out of the wreck of your sins! The faith came from Him! The understanding came from Him! The conviction came from Him! The repentance came from Him! Your salvation came from Him! God is not tied down to the terms of humanism, He is sovereign and will use anyone or anything to find you, to draw you in to His Son Jesus Christ. Look around, what you might least likely expect God is now using to bring you in! Praise His name, Praise His mercy, Praise His grace, Praise His eternal omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence!