Here I Stand Rev. Sudha Mehta MA©
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.(KJV)
Growing up in India in a Hindu Family, I was exposed to many gods. My father had an altar in the house with an array of statues, and some pictures as well. Every morning as a devout Hindu he stood at the alter and worshiped for about a half hour, and then repeated the same in the evening when he returned from work. It was his routine. He lit incense each time before Krishna, Rama, Ganesha, Hanuman and more.
When he could manage he went to the temple. The preferred day was Tuesday.
Daddy was not a close minded Hindu. Much as he had these gods in his lineup, he was very open-minded and liberal in his thinking. He would be the first to agree that because there are many gods, it was okay to worship any of your choice.
He sent my siblings and I to a Roman Catholic school. They offered a better education, and he desired that we be educated well, and that we appreciate what the Western World had to offer. Jesus came right along with that.
Mommy was less interested in all this, but none the less a faithful and wonderful companion, she went along with daddy’s desires. When daddy, wanted to have a prayer meeting called Kirtan at home, she graciously did all to prepare, participate and play a gracious hostess to all our neighbors, relatives and friends.
Daddy was open-minded enough to also worship humbly and devoutly along with his Sikh friends. We had Sikh prayers at home as well, and Guru Nanak, and the Sikh Scriptures were venerated.
He was a learned man, and always eager to learn more. General knowledge in any field, was very important to him. An avid reader, he not only continued to enlarge his own horizons with learning, he built that love in us as well. He wanted us to learn, to explore our world and draw conclusions based on information. He taught us to investigate and question so we could have a better understanding of whatever we were learning.
When asked about the many gods, he would tell us sincerely that there is but one God, one supreme deity. Yet there are many ways, all the gods were but conduits to the supreme deity. Therefore you could pick and choose not only according to your desire but also your need and still end up at the same destination at the end of your journey.
Although there was no statue of Jesus or a crucifix in his little temple at home, he was not opposed to what we learnt at the Catholic school religion class. To be truthful we didn’t learn much in the very benign catechism.
Many roads – one God. Many roads! Many ways!! That is what I grew up with. It was not just our parents who believed this way, but also our extended family, and even friends.
Now, to the many in Christendom that sounds like a huge deception, and it is. This view has caused many to fall away from Christ in the West and certainly we have seen the growth of many religions and many gods in the West due to this. The New Age Movement, the new tolerance espoused by so many today, leaves us accepting any new philosophy / religion/god that comes down the pike.
Nevertheless, for me this “many ways” philosophy is what became the stepping stone that led me to the “One Way-Jesus.”
Let me explain: when I arrived in the US from India at the young age of twenty, I found myself in terrible circumstances. Away from family and friends, away especially from my parents, I had no one to turn to for help, counsel, love, support. By the time I turned twenty-five, I found myself in difficult enough circumstances that I contemplated suicide. What kept me going was my little son. He was the only thing that gave life purpose.
As a Hindu, I turned to my gods. I had a few in my home also. Like daddy, I had a menagerie. I cried out to them to deliver me from my horrible circumstances, I wept and lay on my face, but to no avail.
It was at that time that my next door neighbor shared her Christian faith with me. I shared only that I really missed my parents, and especially my daddy since I was quite a daddy’s girl growing up in India. Without any knowledge of my circumstances she shared her own testimony about how she found Christ, and added that God could be my Father right here in the US.
That struck a cord. That night I spoke with God on my bed. I told Him that I had been raised with a very tolerant lifestyle, and that I had believed that there are many ways, and had tried many gods. Then I said I wanted to try Him now. My conversation was simple, “If You really are the One True God my neighbor says You are, then please show me. Come into my life, come into my heart and take over.”
Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and He to whom the Son will reveal him.(KJV)
Interestingly, at this point I did not know anything about repentance. I didn’t even know I had done anything wrong that I needed to repent from. I was simply a victim of my circumstances. Life was miserable because someone was hurting me immensely.
John 6: 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. . . .47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.(KJV)
That is all it took. I came to see that He was indeed the ONE WAY. He did reveal Himself to me, and I grew in faith as I grew in knowledge of Him. Over the last 43 years I have never doubted His reality, or His love for me. He still grows sweeter everyday, and I feel more indebted to Him today than ever before.
Over time He did deliver me from my circumstances, and lift me up to a better place. Today my whole family serves him as I do.
Jesus declared He was the ONLY way to the Father . . .
John 14: 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.(NAS)
Once I discovered this Truth that set me free, I had to share the news with my parents who loved me very much, but had been largely unaware of my circumstances. Over the course of several years I wrote long letters to daddy and mommy, sharing the love of God with them and inviting them to the faith. One thing they never did was shun me in any way. Remember they taught me the “many ways” philosophy. In their minds I had just picked Jesus to be my God.
But now I knew Him to be not just a way, but THE WAY.
I knew I had to share my faith with them. Took a long time, but since I lived in the US and they lived in India, it was not easy. It was before cell phones, Skype and Facetime. When later in life daddy was still not convinced that Jesus IS THE WAY, I said to daddy, “What do you have to lose, daddy? What if you discover when you die there is no reincarnation? This is it! What if you find yourself before the One God and Jesus His Son and discover that I have been telling the truth? You lose everything and end up in Hell for eternity. Without any second chance, or third or fourth and more! Separated from God entombed forever in literal place of burning and suffering with weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Jesus said of Hell in:
Mark 9: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.(KJV)
And in Mark 13:42 Hell is called a “a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”(KJV)
Why would anyone want to take this chance?!
“If on the other hand,” I said to daddy, “I die and find out that I was wrong, this life journey is not all there is to make a choice, that there are many other lives to come, then, I have lost nothing! If I discover Jesus, and the Bible was all wrong, and that the Hindu religion, and related New Age teachings are correct, and there is reincarnation, I have lost nothing. Considering that the Bible teaches me to live a holy life, I am still miles ahead of many in the search for Moksha (Salvation).”
My arguments were convincing enough that daddy sincerely sought the truth.
One day when I called home from America, he shared with great joy how the Lord Jesus actually appeared to him in a vision. Yes, he accepted the Lord.
Daddy and mommy are both gone now. But both accepted the Lord as their Savior before they died. I am at peace knowing I will see them again when I myself get to heaven. It will be a sweet reunion as is promised by our Lord.
That is what I would ask you my friend, what do you have to lose? Even if you do lose some things that are earthly, you stand to gain far more. After all, there is no other god who loved you so much that he actually died for you, so you could have eternal life. Only Jesus did!!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.(KJV)