When I hear the word what springs to mind immediately is the hymn–you know it–Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim it . . . . It just makes you want to run down the aisle, doesn’t it? This sense that, if I can get it right something magical, amazing, wonderful and instantaneous will turn my life from what it is right now to something beyond my wildest dreams?
That’s what I always learned, anyway. That in a moment (which you should be able to recount with exacting detail, including date, time, location) you made a decision to turn your life over to Christ and some kind of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious thing happened . . . right then!
I first started to wonder about this when it occurred to me that my life before kneeling down next to my bed with my mom at age 7 and my life after that moment were strikingly similar. Maybe it’s just me, I thought for years. Maybe it didn’t take that day. Oh, my gosh, what if I said something wrong and that moment in 1977 was NOT ACTUALLY THE MOMENT I WAS REDEEMED?
I confess this was a nagging thought in the back of my mind for years. Years. Until, one day, years later (about 20 years later, to be honest) I was sitting in church and the pastor said these words, “Even now we are being redeemed.”
Even now we are being redeemed! Bells went off, whistles sounded. Even now I am being redeemed! It’s a process.
Whew. What a relief!
Since then I have learned and embraced with joy the Apostle Paul’s ideas about sanctification. They give me hope–that I didn’t miss the boat that day in 1977, that I didn’t mistakenly leave out one word, thus rendering the instant magical event null and void . . . that redemption is a process.
It comes in small inspirations