This is a true story of a miracle: a man humbling himself, accepting Christ and becoming a new creation in Him. It takes place in a hospital so names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality. Just some background: Joe was an old man. He was dying, and he knew it. He was not expected to live but despite his circumstance, he appeared at peace.
I am a nurse and in the middle of the night of my shift I entered this man’s room to hang a new intravenous bag but Joe was still awake and wanted to talk. He told me he had something incredible to tell me and that I would likely think he was crazy but it was true. I told him to go ahead, I was listening. He said that the previous night Jesus had appeared to him at the foot of his bed and proceeded to point to where Jesus had stood. He said there were two people with him, one on each side, but he couldn’t make them out. I asked Joe, “What did He say?” Joe said that Jesus showed him his past; each time He had spoke, called, or tugged at Joe’s heart through circumstances or the words of friends. He showed Joe how his stubbornness and pride had caused him to repeatedly reject Jesus’ invitation. Jesus showed Joe how he wanted to make his own decisions, direct his own future. He had big plans. He knew his business and didn’t need Jesus. He was doing just fine… or so he thought. Joe shared that when Jesus revealed his past he was full of sorrow for how he had rejected Jesus again and again. Then Jesus spoke his language, He stated two words – stubborn Dutchman. He said that Jesus held out both his arms and said, “Do you see that chasm in front of you? Well pretty soon you are going to be taking the leap. You have two choices. You can jump on your own and see where you land or you can take my hand and come with me to the other side.” I was bending right in to hear the end of the story when he stopped. I couldn’t wait to hear the end and interjected, “Well, what did you say?” Joe said he took Jesus’ hand. He was amazed by Jesus’ love, that He would come and speak to an old stubborn man like himself. He said Jesus was now alive in him and he was a new man. Joe said he had never experienced anything like it; complete acceptance, no condemnation, just as he was despite a lifetime of rejecting God, a warmth and comfort that moved through his body and a joy that literally bubbled up from within.
Joe experienced God’s love for the first time; the love Jesus had been inviting him into over the years. He was seeing, touching, and feeling for the first time that night. He was so excited that he couldn’t sleep and just had to tell someone. He didn’t care if I thought he was crazy. I assured him I didn’t think he was crazy and that his story had blessed me. It was evidence that God’s love is unconditional, it doesn’t fail, and it doesn’t give up.
Joe said he was expecting his son to visit that coming day and he was anxiously waiting to tell him about Jesus. He hoped his son would hear him and believe him and not waste one day to stubbornness as he had, and miss out on the miraculous loving relationship with God that he now knew.