Uda’s True Hope
The needle marks covering her arms gave me a glimpse of her story. She tried to cover them while she shared her heart, but there was no vein on her arm unharmed from the drugs. As I listened carefully through my trusty translator, I was blessed to hear how she had ended up in a center for women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction as well as prostitution. The more she spoke, the more I found my heart was instantly being knit to hers. Her name was Uda. She was beautiful.
Uda was the mother of a 10-month-old little boy. She was heavily involved in dealing drugs as well as prostitution. As her testimony unfolded, she shared how she had come to a point of desperation, a baby to raise, and no hope on the horizon. The alcohol was no longer numbing the pain. By God’s provident plan, someone who had escaped the drug culture in which Uda was imprisoned shared the Gospel with her and told her there was a “place” that would help her to escape this life of lies she had chosen. In her desperation, she agreed to go. Her mother took her son, and she was whisked away to a rural village where her pimp and drug associates would not be able to find her.
That “place”…a “rehabilitation center.” It wasn’t like the luxurious rehabilitation centers one might see in the United States. This center was a cinder block one-bedroom apartment with cots lining the walls, offering as many women as they could fit refuge from their painful life choices. Refuge and hope.
Upon arriving at the center, Uda was greeted with love and warmth by faithful Christian women who spent the next several days and nights by her side praying over her, reading the Scriptures to her, and sharing the hope of Jesus Christ as she faced a most painful withdrawal from heroin and alcohol. By God’s amazing grace, in only a matter of days Uda went from a drug-pushing prostitute to a precious repenter. She came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Uda became a child of God…a child of Truth.
Uda was asked if there was a verse in particular from the Bible that had become precious to her through this process. This is when she lassoed my heart. She was all smiles, and her beautiful wide-set Russian eyes beamed with hope as she shared:
“Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the WORD” (1 Peter 2:2).
Uda could relate to this verse for a couple of reasons:
She was the mother of a baby who no doubt had longed for milk while in her care.
But on a much more personal level, Uda knew what it was like to long for something that could not satisfy…the drugs, the booze, the countless men, the lies. But now she was longing for the true God who would not — could not — lie to her. For the first time, Uda had hope! Jesus, the “Word [who] became flesh and dwelt among us,” saved and now resides in Uda.
The True Hope of All Believers
“I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God — who does not lie — promised them before the world began” (Titus 1:1-2).
Please know, in every moment of every day that my heart and mind are not being guarded (from this world and from this flesh), I am capable of believing or telling a lie. No, many lies. Just like that…it happens…day in …and day out. I am completely capable of the same or even worse choices as my sweet Uda.
While Adam and Eve were the first humans to believe and demonstrate what a lie is, we are the masters. Thankfully, we don’t have to be mastered by lies, as we have the true God:
“But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God and the everlasting King” (Jeremiah 10:10).
One of God’s most foundational attributes is His Truthfulness. It embodies who He is. He cannot tell a lie. It is absolutely impossible
(Hebrews 6:18). Period.
His truth is greater than the heavens (Psalm 57:10).
Though God is invisible, in His faithful love, He exhibits His Truth to us:
In His Judgments
“The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9).
In His Ways
“Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!” (Revelation 15:3).
In His Son
“I am the way, the truth, the life…” (John 14:6).
In His Word
“Your word is truth” (John 17:17 b).
Since this is who our God is, He is ultimately the One in Whom we should CONFIDE:
“Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth” (Psalm 31:5).
Like Uda, we can and should DWELL on truth, so that we won’t fall prey to the lies that surround us in this broken world. When we dwell on truth, we are choosing to dwell on God and His Son…the transforming Gospel truth:
“…Whatever is true… dwell on truth…practice truth” (Philippians 4:8-9).
Like the lovely women in the rehab center in rural Siberia, we should also long to SHARE with others about our true God:
“It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness” (Isaiah 38:19).
And ultimately, we should MAGNIFY the truth of God:
“I will also praise You with a harp,
Even Your truth, O my God;
To You I will sing praises with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel”
CONFIDE. DWELL. SHARE. MAGNIFY.
Ladies, pray with me that by God’s sufficient, reliable Truth, we are daily:
trusting in God,
dwelling on God,
longing for God,
submitting to God,
satisfied in God…our TRUTH
“I believe that the happiest of Christians and the truest of Christians are those who never dare to doubt God, but who take His Word simply as it stands, and believe it, and ask no questions, just feeling assured that if God has said it, it will be so” (Charles Spurgeon).