“Yes Brother. My wife used to be married before she came to Jesus Christ. Our two children are from her previous marriage.”
I was a first year medical student and was seeking a new home church. It was my first new church since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in my sophomore year in college. This was my first one on one meeting with the head pastor.
“So is her ex-husband still in the picture?”
The pastor smiled. “Yes, he is. You may know him. He’s Jake, one of the elders of the church.”
I was astonished. This church began as an outgrowth of a Bible study the pastor led when he was working as a staff member at a sister church. Through this study, many became Christians, including his current wife and her ex-husband. I later learned that it was an acrimonious divorce, wreaking havoc upon the entire family. Many outsiders were surprised to see both of them attending the Bible study and later became Christians.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (ESV)
When I became a Christian, lofty theological terms like reconciliation, propitiation, and sanctification were now a part of my vocabulary. Although I could regurgitate a textbook definition, I did not have practical experience within my three years since accepting the Lord. Here, in this new home church, was a vivid and tangible example of reconciliation. The power of God reconciled a formerly estranged couple and their children. God reconciled the new husband with the former husband. Broken family relationships were now reconciled within the family of God.
God always turns our expectations upside down. When the world says it will never happen, God says, “Believe in my Son and the power of the resurrection.” Jesus Christ reconciled a world, lost to the corrupting power of sin, through His death and resurrection on the Cross. When we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, that same power is ours through the Holy Spirit indwelling within us. What do we do with this power? We are given a ministry of reconciliation. Estranged spouses, broken friendships, toxic work environments. Nothing is too difficult for God when we place our faith and trust in Him.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.