Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How I Met My Savior


How I Met My Savior

 

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:44

It was Friday, January 15, 1971.  My family had a routine on Friday nights.  Daddy worked construction and every Friday was payday.  When Daddy came home, we would all get cleaned up and dressed and go into town to buy groceries.  We’d made about a mile from the home when it happened.
We were about to go through the intersection of highways 139 south and 272 in Cadiz.  A car was coming from the passenger side, and didn’t stop.  We were hit hard in the passenger side front door.  My mom was sitting in the passenger seat, and I sat right behind my mom.  There were no seatbelts in the Oldsmobile that we were in.  When that car was made, they hadn’t been invented.  All I can remember from before the accident was my Dad saying “OH NO! Hold on!” and putting his right arm on the back of the seat behind my mom.  There was a loud noise, and I don’t remember seeing the car it.  But impact caused me to be slung forward, and my mouth hit Daddy’s hand and loosened my front teeth. 

The next thing I knew, my mom’s forehead was bleeding, but she was quiet.  The windshield was cracked, and my dad was getting out of the car.  An ambulance was there in just a few minutes, and took my mom and dad to Trigg County Hospital where she was admitted with lacerations to the forehead and her knees.  My brother and I were taken in a yellow VW bug by a lady I don’t know to this day to my grandmother Pearl’s house in Cadiz.
I had on knee-high boots and a dress.  I was sitting on my Momma Pearl’s bed when I saw the bruises on my knees.  They weren’t horrible, but they were big bruises.  I sat there and God spoke to my heart “You could have died, and where would you have gone?”  At the time, I didn’t realize it was His voice.  But I thought about what He said, and it scared me because the answer I had to give was hell. 

I’d been raised in church all my life, but at 8 ½ years old I’d still not asked Jesus to save me.  In fact, up until that night, I didn’t know how to make it happen.  I had heard enough preaching to know that being saved kept me from hell.  I’d also had enough discipline to understand that I wasn’t perfect and needed to be saved. But that’s all I knew.
My Momma Pearl was on the phone in the hallway.  It was one of those black rotary dial phones with the cord that would stretch all the way to the floor.  She was calling the hospital to check on my mom.  Being a kid, her being on the phone had no barrier on me talking to her! I asked her the most obvious question, “Momma Pearl, how do you get saved?”  Her quick answer was: “Tell Jesus you don’t want to go to hell and that if you die you want Him to take you with Him to heaven.”

So right there, sitting on her bed, I had a talk with Jesus.  I told Him what she told me to and He responded.  At 8 ½ years old, I probably would have described it as a “weird” but good feeling that came over me.  It was warm and comforting.  I remember thinking, “So, this is what being saved feels like.”  There was a definite change, even though I didn’t fully understand it.  I met my savior that day, and just as He said in Joshua 1:5, He has never left me nor forsaken me.  He is my very best friend. 
From 8 ½ to 33, 25 long years, I didn’t understand the bigger picture of Christianity.  I was raised in church, heard the Word preached, and memorized Bible verses in Sunday school.  But I was taught religion, all the dos and don’ts of serving God.  And because of religion, I spent the greater part of my life believing God was a God of wrath and vengeance, out to get me when I failed.  I wasn’t taught that He was in love with me.  I tried to please Him by following all the rules of religion, but around every corner was another failure.  Religion makes it hard to believe you can have a successful life as a Christian, and sometimes you just give up.

Today I am giving praise for so many of His good works toward me.  I thank God for saving me most of all.  I thank Him for my Grandmother Pearl, who was one of the strongest Christian influences I had and taught me so much.  I thank God for freedom from religion, and the guilt from not being able to obey every rule all the time.  Grace is good stuff!  I thank Him for the intimacy of knowing Him as my loving Father.  I thank Him for revealing His still small voice.  And I thank Him that on that day, He drew me.  On January 15, 1971, He drew me to Himself with a quiet voice saying “You could have died, and where would you have gone?”  John 6:44 says No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him”. 
Listen.  As you read my story, is He drawing you? Are you thinking about your own salvation?  To be drawn is to be given and urge to be His, plain and simple. Don’t resist the urge.  There’s one heart-felt prayer that God never says no to:  “Jesus, Save me”.  Those small words can change your life.  John 3:16 says “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Believe that Jesus is the risen son of God, crucified for your sins, raised to eternal life, and He will give you eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says For BY GRACE you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.” You can’t earn salvation because it’s not by works but by grace, God’s unmerited favor. It’s the gift of God, His Holy Spirit.  While the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), the wages of good works is NOT salvation.  Salvation isn’t a wage to be earned, but a gift given freely.  All you have to do is ask, believing in Him.  And if you do, I’d love to know about it, as would the rest of the family of God.
Today I celebrate my rebirth day, and the years of having His Holy Spirit live in me, the seal of my salvation.  Not all were lived to His Glory, but I promise the remaining ones He gives me will be.  He is my joy.  He is my strength.  He is my salvation.

Happy rebirth day to me! And thank you Father God for another sweet year!

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