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It was the middle of the night. I should be sleeping but I can't. Snores gently coming from my husband as he lie next to me. Every once in a while I hear a car go by our street and then nothing. Just silence. Silence and the questions whirling in my head. Just go to sleep, Lisa! But the thoughts won't stop, the questions bring more questions. Ugh! It's about to make a girl crazy!
When my kids were little I had problems sleeping at night. One night I decided I would read my Bible. I thought perhaps reading the Old Testament might be just boring enough to put me to sleep. (I know, a difficult thing for this pastor to admit) But I'm a bit of a history buff, so needless to say, it didn't help me to fall asleep. In fact, the more I read, the more I was interested and the more questions I had.
"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." John 3:1-2
Someone else up late at night! And full of questions. Now Nicodemus knew God's law. He was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish council. He was a smart man and well respected. Because of his stature, many suspect he went to Jesus in the night so as not to be noticed.
What Jesus says next turns this man's thought process up side down.
"In reply, Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." John 3;3
"How can this be?" Nicodemus ask.
Nicodemus knows the "rules" and like most other Pharisees prides himself on how much he knows and how well he follows those rules.
But Jesus' message wasn't about following rules. Jesus was trying to show Nicodemus he needed a Savior. There is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus paying the price for my sin. Nothing I do will earn me a way in. Neither would it for Nicodemus.
As much as I want to do good and noble things, my evil heart gets in the way. Recently, I began my day with an agenda. I made a plan and I was going to work MY plan. But then someone in need came along. Someone hurting, who had a huge need to know God still loved. But I had my agenda and my heart grumbled and complained, Lord I'm not equipped, I don't have the skill set, I don't know what to do..... Hold her hand, pray with her, give her a hug, I was nudged to do. So I did. I felt horrible for my thoughts and wondered how God could ever use someone like me. He reminded me that day that I can't do these things alone, I needed Him.
Jesus ends his message to Nicodemus with this:
"But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." John 3:21
Truth is, I will always have questions. Truth is, I can't do this life by myself. Truth is, I need Jesus in my life. Truth is, God loves us because we are His, not because of what we do.
How about you? Do you wrestle at night with questions?