He was sitting on the ground leaning against the legs of our son Philip. His face white with pain and shock. He could see the small cut on his finger and was concerned. He couldn’t see the bloody graze on his elbow only feel its sting.
‘He fell over,’ I stupidly stated.
He tripped on the step,’ Philip explained. ‘How are we going to get him up?’
‘Are you hurt?’ I asked him. I had visions of a broken hip.
‘No, nothing is broken,’ he answered. ‘My elbow and knee hurt; I just hurt all over,’ he complained.
We managed to get him into a chair and then inside to his armchair. The bleeding was staunched and the elbow graze dressed. There he stayed for the rest of the day. A badly bruised ninety-year-old man. His body old and stiff held him prisoner. Unable to save himself from falling, he dropped like a lump of lead. Old age is not pretty.
Eternal separation from God is the kind of fall that destroys. Self-preservation is useless. ‘Go it alone,’ or ‘Do it my way,’ are slogans but they describe attitudes of independence at odds with God. There is nothing that can save the self.
There is a need to consciously accept Jesus, to receive him into the innermost heart as Lord and Saviour. Eternity rests on the decision to receive Jesus. There are four steps needed to receive Jesus.
Step one, the need to accept that Jesus died and God raised him from the dead. The death of Jesus makes those who accept him acceptable to God. Love on the part of God motivated Jesus to give himself so people would be assured of eternity. God announced to the world he loved it so much he gave his only son so save it.’ John3: 16. It is like having the wounds and sicknesses operated on and stitched leaving no scars.
Step two, Jesus must be asked into the heart. Jesus does not enter the heart unless invited. As it is written, ‘For with the heart a person believes…’ Romans 10: 8 – 11.
Step three, when the conscious decision to accept Jesus is made and he is invited into the heart God immediately accepts that person. He no longer holds anything against that person either from the past, the present or the future. Jesus immediately enters the heart and a new life and person within begins to take shape. Jesus promised , ‘That all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was trust him to save them.’(John 1: 12 LB)
Step four, peace and rest at last. The burden of guilt and fear is over. God’s assurance is clear, ‘For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts, and tells us that we really are God’s children.’ (Romans 8: 16 LB). Jesus within carries the load physically and emotionally. Lovingly caring for the new believer, mentoring them.
Four steps were required on my part for his recovery.
Firstly, the cuts and bruises were cleaned and dressed and the need for a doctor ruled out.
Secondly, tender loving care was applied. Pampering with tasty morsels of food and drink.
Thirdly, rest, quiet and warmth. He was allowed to sit back and assess his state by talking over his fall. Fourthly, time to recover and regain his emotional balance. He could not do these things by himself. Another must care for him, love him, reassure him.
Jesus gives the same tender loving care for the aching, lost, and lonely broken hearts. Just ask him to make the heart his home.