The invitation was hers, unmistakably hers. She had it and held on to it. Amazingly, it was from the King’s Son; a personal invitation: “Come to Me.” It was almost too good to be true. Why not accept it? It was for her, just the way she was. It had a winsome appeal. She should go to Him.
Suddenly, like a cold blast of wind on a dark night, the accusations came. Who was she to accept such an invitation? Who was she to get such a thing? She was a nothing. No, worse than that. She was a negative: an egotist, self-centered, out of control, harmful to others in words, glares, and deeds. Inside she was ugly in a lot of ways: she let her passions get away with her, she spoke harshly, she argued constantly, she wanted her way, she was stingy with her money, she was proud of herself but that was unseemly, she had appetites she didn’t want anyone to know about, her thought-life was tainted with darkness.
Yet she held the invitation: “Come to me.” This invitation gave her a glimmer of hope. And it was from the King’s Son. Something about it warmed her soul.
But then the cold draft chilled her again. How could she come? She felt drained, without strength. She was unworthy to come to the Prince. But there was this in the invitation: It was for “all who are heavy burdened.” That certainly fit. When she got quiet and shut off the media, a heaviness descended on her. If she couldn’t go to sleep and stared into the darkness she felt quite alone. Oh, she had friends. They would do things and keep the music loud and the actions hot. But when she was alone in the dark that didn’t help. There was an emptiness, a void. Also, there was an inner dread. Things were not right. Not that she didn’t look good. Not that she wasn’t healthy. Still, that heaviness was there, that gnawing sense that if Someone really knew all about her, she was in trouble.
On the other hand, here was the invitation, and it was from the One who really did know all about her. It was personal, from Him to her. “Come to Me.” There was comfort in that. She was wanted. She was invited. So she did it. “Jesus, I come!” Somewhere she had heard something like that in a song: “Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Jesus, I come.”
This cold thought hit her: how could she be accepted with all of her baggage? Where could she get rid of it? Even if she reformed, that stuff would still dog her steps like a debt that needed to be paid, but she didn’t have the money.
She found still more in the invitation. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” So there was forgiveness that came along with coming. She had come not hiding her sins. She knew she was not worthy. But she was still forgiven! How could that be? Didn’t she have to do something? Looking further into the invitation gave her the answer: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Not by working it off, not by making resolutions, not by starting to do religion, but “justified by faith.”
But faith in what? Not in herself. Not in being religious. Not in some ceremony. She also read that faith was the way to live, now that she had accepted the invitation. “The just shall live by faith.” So the faith is ongoing and not in doing something. In relationship. She considered again the invitation. “Come unto me.” It must be faith in Him! And she would be living that way, in an ongoing relationship with the Prince. There was something eminently peaceful about that. And then she remembered something from the Christmas story about Him being the Prince of Peace.
Time passed. She noticed something profound. She had not only been invited and accepted the invitation, she was also living in the invitation. She was accepted yet she was always coming; coming to the Prince for help, for consolation, for direction. All things were changing. The trash from the past was being cleared away.
A blast of frigid thoughts assailed her. The old memories were there, and there was shame. How could she have been so selfish? So uncaring? So critical? So sinful? Did the Prince know about all of it?
She looked again at the invitation and saw something else. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Also, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation…old things have passed away.” So she was new. The Prince didn’t look at her and remember the old. She was new!
An icy thought crept into her mind. “He is a new creation.” That was for a him. What about a her? She looked back at the invitation and saw something that warmed her to her innermost being. “You shall be my sons and daughters.” Of course it was for her. Hadn’t the Prince showed Himself first to the women on the first Easter Sunday? Hadn’t the great Apostle Paul made the house of Lydia his temporary headquarters after she had accepted this same invitation and began her faith walk? She held her head high. She was the King’s daughter also. All because of the invitation and that she had come to Him!
A cold question crept into her mind. How long could this last? What if she couldn’t keep living like this? She knew her weaknesses, her past failures, her lapses, her questions. She looked again at the invitation. “I am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him.” So He kept it if she committed it to Him? She would do that. She would commit it all; salvation, holiness, future, time, possessions, friends, entertainment, everything. He said He would keep it all; whatever she committed would be His.
She looked again at the invitation. Come to Him. She had and He had saved, He had cleansed, He had remade. And He promised to guide, to keep, to guard, to comfort, to help. No matter what she faced.
Then she saw the word: “Whosoever.” It was for her, yes, but not only for her. It was for her old friends, her old enemies, the strangers that she met, the people down the street, foreigners in the land, people from other lands. What could she do about it? She could share the invitation. Starting at home and then to the ends of the earth.
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:16,17).