From Glory to Glory
by Ben & Marianne Janssen
As my heart aches for the precarious situation that Ukraine is in right now, my thoughts often go out to Ida, my sister in the Lord. Surely she is safe as she lives in a small village not too far from the capital city.
As long as I live I will never forget the church meeting we were in together. We were standing in a circle praying fervently to our Lord. Suddenly a man seemed to lose all hope and started crying bitterly. He was without official papers and could not go back to his home country and his loved ones. At that moment, Ida stepped in. She took her handkerchief and very gently started to wipe the man’s tears away, all the while praying that God would have mercy on him. Such gentleness I had never seen in my life, and at that moment I realized that I saw our Lord Jesus in action.
Then the question rose in my mind: was Ida always that compassionate? As if she could read my mind she started to explain how the Lord had changed her. It was a hard but needed lesson, be-cause Ida did not have compassion at all some years before and she had very little patience. Her husband could testify about that. Then the Lord stepped in. Her next door neighbor became very ill and bedridden and Jesus told her frankly to go and care for him every day. At first Ida refused. This man was plain mean, even on his good days. How could she care for him and not lose her patience? But the Lord kept pushing and Ida went every day, feeding him, caring for him and cleaning his little house.
At first it was extremely hard, because the man was rough, ungrateful and sarcastic, but the Lord had told her to do His work with joy, so Ida smiled and prayed her way through this challenging situation. Many a time she wanted to give up, but the Lord would not let her. He kept saying to her, “if you love Me, then follow me”. To her great amazement after about a year, Ida saw her neighbor change a little. Once in a while he would say thank you to her and sometimes he gave her a faint smile. His physical situation did not improve and he slowly lost strength. Ida started to feel more and more compassion for this man and prayed fervently for his soul to be saved. Then one morning he asked, why Ida loved him so much. He felt not worthy to be loved and Ida explained to him her love for her Savior. Not long after that, the old man believed in Ida’s Lord and passed away with a big smile on his face. He died in Ida’s arms. In those three years Ida had changed from glory to glory and became a compassionate daughter of her precious Lord!
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Photo Credit: Ben & Marianne Janssen