The word unless raises the hackles of my heart and soul. Its very meaning leaves an ultimatum, a power struggle ensues–‘do this or…’ I learned young that there is no good outcome–somebody has to give in–OR ELSE!
I don’t like people who give ultimatums. In my case they’ve always been self-serving, manipulative, happiness stealing, abusers. So this morning as I read and reread Jesus’ words, ‘UNLESS–you are born again,’ I actually felt, maybe for the first time, the serious ramifications of NOT being born again. I wanted to rise up against those words! I felt offended for those who want to live independent of God, the ultimate authority. In fact as I write this I feel as if I’ve been kicked in the stomach, not for myself, but for those who reject God. I am saddened by the thought that there is nothing more for them than their life here on earth. As ‘good’ as that life may be, it certainly comes with enough pain to make me want something better. Without the hope of Heaven and eternity with Jesus, I honestly don’t think my life would have been worth living. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way.
Jesus, however, is not giving us an ultimatum, He’s stating a fact, a warning actually. Planting questioning seeds like, ‘why would I want to be born again? Is there something I’m missing? Could it be better than this?……If so, I want it!’ He’s instilling a greedy lust for better, (even here on this earth) for Heaven. A desire for a life outside ourselves full of hope, joy, peace, with the promise of no more sorrow and no more tears.
Today, ‘unless’ has left me sad for those who don’t know the joys of knowing Jesus, motivated to plant the seed of desire in their hearts, prayerful that those seeds will spring to life, joyful for the hope that we have in Jesus. I’m left in awe of how Jesus can take a negative and turn it into a positive and make all things new…..REBORN!
I hope you’ve been struck by lightening this morning too….it will leave you breathless!
Doodle for January 20, 2015, #102