December 1991 – the world watched in amazement as the Soviet Union disintegrated into fifteen separate countries. Its collapse was hailed by the west as a victory for freedom. Those held in the clutches of corrupt government slowly ebbed to positions of free thinking and living. Note I said “slowly.” Those held in bondage emerge into freedom as toddler learning to walk.
My husband and I participated in a quick response mission trip. Teamed up with multiple Christian organizations, we headed to an area south of Moscow. Our job – teaching educators the truth of the Gospel, and equipping them with the knowledge of teaching the Bible to their own students.
Tears flowed as we shared the saving power of Jesus Christ. Many Soviets bore the mental and emotional scars of being taught there was no God. While some folk’s reluctance and skepticism kept them from embracing Truth, many clamored for the missing piece of their life’s puzzle. One babushka (grandmother) looked me in the eye, stating she knew with certainty this news was what her heart had always longed to believe.
In gratitude for our mission trip, many of our teachers gave us Matryoshkas, Russian nesting dolls. One doll houses sequential dolls, decreasing in size, sometimes ages. They still mesmerize me. The craftsmanship and intricate painting detail the delicate artwork.
Spiritually speaking, our lives mimic these dolls. We are without Christ until we come to know and believe who He is. Once we grasp the power of being “in Christ’ we mature as believers. Old lifestyles fade away. Former thoughts, words, and jokes are canned for a cleaner spiritual environment.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I marvel at the handiwork of the Russian artisans, yet greater is the work of my Creator, yours too. He created us on purpose and for His purposes. As we nest in His grip, He journeys with us to new levels of creativity and purpose.
Are we ready to take the next step of being in Christ? Perhaps it’s a baby step or a giant leap. In the grip of grace there’s beauty in transformation.
*Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com: Teerapun Image ID# 100151207