Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3,20

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I´ve found Jesus only as a sinner

Hanna Nowak

….For the first time I´ve known myself as an awful sinner and for the first time found out that all my efforts were pointless because nobody but God could change my heart…  I´ve found Jesus only as a sinner
I grew up with the Bible in my hand.I belonged to the best congregation.I was trying to obey God from all my heart and not to harm anybody only to help.I was popular everywhere and later on, was held in respect.I had only one problem:I was aware of being better than others…By moving away I lost the best church and started attending the normal one.It wasn´t exactly what I liked.
On a Sunday there was a sermon about righteous Lot who simply joined pious Abraham and followed in his footsteps until he had to make a decision on his own.So it emerged what had been in his heart.For all that he remained righteous and God didn´t let him perish.When I´d heard all these things I began perspiring and freezing because the preacher didn´t speak only about Lot but also about my life!But it was clear to me that I couldn´t change by myself.There was only one thing left: Confess publicly who I was – and I didn´t want to confess to it.What would the people say to that ?...
Then I had opportunity to see a dying eager and just God´s servant.I was anxious to know which commandment would be the most important for him when he was at death´s door but to my big dissapointment this man had only repeated several times: I´m only a reprieved sinner.I thought that if I´d died I´d have brought to God all the good things that I was doing and bad things I was keeping away from.Then, I thought it was nothing and I started striving to please God.
Some time passed and we had some visit – the biggest sinner I´ve ever met.In my santity I wanted to bring testimony to him – but suddenly I found out that I had nothing I could offer him ( except for my efforts ).At that time God showed me what I had in my heart – spiritual pride, malicious glee, love of money, love only for those who love me as well, and art of pushing through my truth and right, self - interest – I did something good only when it paid off and forgiveness only for those who asked me for it „on their knees“ – well, simply dry and stinking bones and small bones.
 For the first time I´ve known myself as an awful sinner and for the first time found out that all my efforts were pointless because nobody but God could change my heart. For the first time I´ve asked for forgiveness from all my heart.For the first time I´ve believed God had forgiven me!! I began being enourmosly happy and promised God not to tell anyone.A parable came to my mind about that servant who´d received only one talent ( forgiveness ) and hid it ( concealed it ) and another one wrapped it into the handkerchief, it was a kerchief ( efforts ) and people around saw just his zeal.Both servants ended up in hell although they were God´s servants.It was clear to me that if I didn´t want to end up also like this I had to bring my talent at least to the bank ( that is congregation or church ) and those financiers ( believers ) would be resourceful and I could expect at least some interest.Well, I was back to square one – declare publicly my Lord.However, I didn´t want it.All my joy vanished and I began to be doubtful and desperate.
Next Sunday I found myself under the Word of God and I was so hungry as never before.The sermon was about Saul, pharisee who served God assidously.All the sermon was like my curriculum vitae.I couldn´t believe it but still it was obvious to me that God was speaking to me again and actually confirmed what I´d experienced.Nevertheless, I didn´t want to declare.My doubts and desperation grew to such an extent that I even stopped believing in the existence of God and just wanted to live in a righteous and devout way as before– but it was impossible.
Next Sunday I came to church without faith.I wanted to give up everything.The sermon was about the fact that we couldn´t do anything from ourselves and even our faith is a gift.The tiny spark of hope started flickering in my life.
Next Sunday the sermon was about the hope of the eternal life that we have when everything that is around us – is only darkness.I began asking wheather all these things are my personal experience of living God.
 Next Sunday the sermon was about the importance of experiencing the Lord personally - not only do and know everything possible – but also to experience God.Then, IT was already clear to me – I had to declare.There was only an obstacle – fear of what people would say to it.
Next Sunday the sermon was about the nonsensical fear of people that we sometimes had.It cheered me up but first I went to the preacher to ask where He´d got my autobiography.I asked him how he knew what was happening in my life when he didn´t absolutely know me after all.Well, he was very glad that the Lord could have used him.He gave me a piece of advice : declare the Lord in the congregation…
Do you know how it came out? People thought that I´d got mad…
However, the joy and peace came to my heart and God adopted me into His family and started raising me in the same way as when a new human was born – thanks, Lord.
Footnote to our question how Hanka ended up in Canada and how old she is:
How did I get to Canada? Well, I should write a whole book about this but I loved Czech republic very much and I didn´t want to move neither to Germany ( 1978 ) nor to Canada ( 1982 ).I´m not young nor old I´ll be 45 years old.Who wants to know more let him sent me an e-mail and I´ll answer with pleasure.

Bye, Hanka


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