While teaching a class on Philippians recently, I had a conversation with my daughter Krystal about the Incarnation that the Apostle Paul describes in the second chapter.
During our discussion, Krystal said the Incarnation wasn’t just about God becoming a man in the person of Jesus Christ, but it showed us that the life of God could be lived out through a man.
As I pondered the profoundness of what she said, I was reminded of something she had written in a blog post some years ago while she was an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University.
“I don’t want to deal with atomic bombs,” I thought as I walked through the Wang Center … Art (was) displayed on the walls … with this subject: a 1950s housewife with the caption about what food in what packaging is safe to eat after an atomic bomb. I don’t want to deal with atomic bombs, but some emotional situations (and 60th anniversaries) require Penderecki’s ‘Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima.’
“… What is a human being supposed to do when somewhere in the world and somewhere close to home nuclear energy is being developed? Be shepherded and guided and sent, loved and loving in order to wage a war for souls to become likewise. There is a love that makes the world go round, keep revolving, so that the part in darkness may come to the light, but some eyes refuse to open.”
I was struck by the profoundness of the final two statements and a little befuddled, so I asked Krystal what she meant. This was her response:
“As for nuclear energy, I do realize that it and atomic bombs are two different things, but they are related from my perspective because one is nuclear energy to be used for good and one is intended to be used for evil.“
When I asked the … question, I spent some time thinking of how to answer it. My first thought was that God is my comfort when I am confused. And I thought of an unsaved person (no one in particular) saying I was using God as a crutch. However, God is not a crutch; He is an absolute necessity. He is not only the solution to my problems, but to the problems and fears of the world. As a Shepherd, He is my comfort. When I don’t know what to do in response to the world, He is my guide. One of the things He calls me to do is witness, to be His missionary wherever I am in my life. It is His love in me that fulfills me and allows me to desire to reach out to others in love. The changing of hearts is the only way to change the way people live in this world, and the only way they are truly transformed is through salvation.
“The same sovereign God who makes sunrise come after sunset is the God who is ‘giving us more time’ (to quote a song by Chris Rice). It is His love that allows the light to shine into the darkness. And just as one can go outside on a sunny day and close one’s eyes and not see the light, some also close their eyes to the light He sends.”
Again, I was struck by what Krystal wrote, but not surprised because she is serious about her relationship with God and His Son. Plus, she was taught to be ready to make a defense for what she believes.
Of course, what she wrote brought joy to my heart because there is no greater joy than to hear that your child walks in the truth — as the Apostle John put it in his third letter: “It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:3-4 (NIV)
Krystal is now a 31-year-old music professor at Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania. It would grieve me if she wasn’t a Christian because there is great joy in salvation. I have witnessed firsthand the agony of Christian parents whose adult children have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In some instances, they still have an amicable relationship with their children, but it is not the intimate fellowship that Christians enjoy with one another.
The hearts of these parents long to have the kind of fellowship with their unsaved children that is mentioned in Acts 2:42 and 1 John 1:1-3. They continue to pray – and ask others to pray – for their children to come to Christ.
If you have unsaved children, no matter the age, or loved ones or friends or anyone else whom you are praying for, I pray that you will continue to bring them before the Lord because as long as they are alive, there’s hope.
It’s also my prayer that someone will be able to reach them with the gospel because sometimes they won’t listen to those who are close to them. I pray that the light of the glorious gospel will shine in their hearts as it says in 2 Corinthians 4:6.
Finally, I pray that God will bring them into His kingdom as He has done with Krystal.