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’s True Hope
Uda was the mother of a 10-month-old little boy, heavily involved in dealing drugs and prostitution. As her testimony unfolded, she shared how she had come to a point of desperation with 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 Uda was imprisoned to shared the gospel with her and told her that there was a place that would help her to escape this life of lies she had chosen. In her desperation, she agreed to go. He 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 was a rehabilitation center. But it wasn’t like the luxurious rehabilitation centers one might see in the United States- the ones that promise a better environment will change one’s heart. In contrast, this center was a cinder block one-bedroom apartment with cots lining the walls offering refuge and true Hope from their painful life choices to as many women as they could fit.
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, it only took a matter of days for Uda to change 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.
The True Word
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:
1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the WORD.”
Uda could relate to that 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, and 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 that became flesh and dwelt among us, saved and now resides in Uda.
Titus 1:1-2, “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.”
Dwelling in the Truth
I am completely capable of the same or even worse choices as my sweet Uda. 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. Many lies, in fact. It happens so subtly day in and day out. 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.
Jeremiah 10:10, “But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God and the everlasting King.”
One of God’s most foundational attributes is His Truthfulness. It embodies who He is. He cannot tell a lie. It is absolutely impossible (Heb 6:18). Period.
Psalm 57:10, “His truth is greater than the heavens.”
Though God is invisible, in His faithful love, He exhibits His truth to us in many ways.
In His Judgments – Psalm 19:9, “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.”
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 17:17b
Since this is who our God is, He is ultimately the One in whom we should confide.
Psalm 31:5, “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.”
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. This is 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.
Isaiah 38:19, “It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness.”
And ultimately, we should Magnify the truth of God.
Psalm 71:22, “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.”
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.
Charles Spurgeon, “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.”