“God is testing us, and life is that test. If you get the answers right you go to heaven, and if you get any of the answers wrong you go to hell.”
My friend and I were sitting on a brick wall in the shade of a 100 year old tree when he said this to me.
I’d only met him yesterday, I was sipping cha outside one of the faculty buildings at the university when he interrupted everyone to introduce himself and promptly dominated the conversation from there. 15 minutes later, he was sharing with me the peace he felt in his heart after talking with me.
” I know.” I said, confidently. ” That’s because every day I recieve peace from Jesus and then I give it out to everyone who needs it.” He liked this idea, and as he tagged along with me over the next couple of days, he would exert all of his charismatic skill in begining conversations with groups of students saying,
“This is Danica, and she has come to our country to bring peace to everyone from Jesus.”
It was always quite the introduction, especially since, in his accent, ‘peace’ would come out as ‘peach’ and I would imagine myself with a basket of delicious ripe peaches, a tasty gift from Jesus to the people of Bangladesh.
In all of our chats over these two days, he never tried to disguise his growing curiosity at my life, my love for Jesus, and of course that ever-present peace. He asked me flat-out, “would you teach me about Jesus?” That floored me. Because my new friend is a Muslim.
Which leads me back to being under that tree, sitting on that brick wall as he told me some of his thoughts on God. He told me how God doesn’t care whether we live or die, God is testing us, God can only be known through reading the holy books… These are the things he has been taught about God. The thing is, I have heard all these before. The enemy always uses the same lines and he has told me some of these. That God doesn’t care about me, that I will never live up to God’s standards, that God is distant and unknowable.
So we sat under this tree and I told him about the one thing that changes everything. The incarnation of God. The person of Jesus.
In the person of Jesus, God made Himself knowable. In the person of Jesus, God revealed His unfathomable love for us. In the person of Jesus, Gods only standard became surrender. We have to know Jesus, accept his love for us, and trust Him completely. All of us, Christian or Muslim or anything else.
It’s hard for my friend to understand. He has spent the last 28 years believing that Jesus was an inconsequential prophet and that God had it out for him. But, something is happening. He is softening. He is curious and hopeful. His spirit is crying out to know the truth about God.
He is hungry.