To Be Born Again
"Create in me a new heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10, ESV)
I don’t usually make hospital visits, but David was traveling. He was asked to pray for someone in the Fairbanks hospital. “Could you go instead?”
Once I arrived, I was invited to pray with the little Native lady who was recovering. Afterward, her relative and I struck up a conversation. He said he just lost his mother-in-law but God blessed the family with enough time to say good-bye. That story led to one of deeper hurt. “We all go the way of the grave,” he said, “but it is not natural to bury a child.” He continued:
My son fell and hit his head. He was 42 years old. After a few months, he started to have excruciating headaches. Having done four tours in the military, I had seen plenty of brain injuries. I was sure he was suffering from a stroke and that surgery could release the pressure on his brain. Finally, he was transported to Seattle but he suffered another major stroke. I held his hand for four days while machines kept him alive. On the fourth day, I got up to go get a cup of coffee.
At the vending machine, there was a man sitting nearby in obvious distress. I asked if he was OK and if I could help. He told me his son just suffered a heart attack and would not survive without a heart transplant. I asked the man how old his son was. He said “42.” I asked, “What is his blood type?” He said, “0 positive.” I told him, “You come with me, I think I can help.”
I grabbed the surgeon and told him what I had in mind. Both our sons were wheeled into surgery. It was easier to let my son go, knowing his son would be saved by receiving my son’s heart.
When Jesus left the heart of the Father and became human, I wonder if it helped to know that, through His Son, some would be saved. Jesus was born to start the journey that would remove our stony hearts and give us eternal life. Our life is now intertwined with His because He has, in His grace through faith, given us a new heart.
Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son into the world to perform surgery on our sin-stained hearts. Thank You for the new life we enjoy because of Jesus. Amen.
- Rosemary Sternbeck, Fairbanks, Alaska
Less than 5 percent of the approximately 3 million Native American people in North America know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Lutheran Indian Ministries exists because there is a vital need to reach out to Native American Nations and share the Word of Christ.
Please consider providing a gift of support today to help us continue sharing the life-saving message of Christ's love with Native Americans. God bless you!