Although my testimony could be summed up with the much loved words “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me”, there are more details I like to share. Today, I’d like to share another small part of my story. For some reason, my testimony tends to be a bit long. Maybe it’s because I cherish every single event that led up to coming to know God, and those events occurred over years. I’ve yet to write it all down; but I like to share what I can, when I can, to God’s glory.
I never tire of hearing the testimonies of others, for in them are glimpses of the power and work of God. If you have yours posted online and would like to share it, please put the link in a comment below. I would love to read it.
November 28 can never pass or even approach without me feeling a deep gratitude for my salvation. Today I celebrate the 28th anniversary of my new birth. It is no less precious to me now then when God first opened my heart to his great love, mercy, and forgiveness. On the contrary, it is more precious now. So much has happened in these past twenty-eight years; but right from the beginning of my new life in Christ, the Bible was paramount in my walk. That’s actually quite amazing considering there was a time when I use to say it was written by “a bunch of crazy old men.” Oh, what God and his word can do to a person’s heart and mind!
Before that momentous November 28 twenty-eight years ago in 1987, I spent years without faith in God. In those years I lived “free”. There were no constraints of religion or the fear of a Judge in heaven. In my mind, God didn’t exist. It’s interesting how we sometimes think that what we believe creates reality.
I remember a conversation that I had one night with my husband Butch about this very thing. Back then he was either my boyfriend or fiancé. I can’t remember. It was EONS ago! That night, Butch pointed out my faulty logic. He helped me see that I based the answer to God’s existence on my belief about it. In other words, I thought that God did not exist because I thought he did not exist. He countered this with something to the effect of, “Whether you believe in God or not has no bearing on whether he exists or not. You can sincerely believe in a non-existent god and you can deny the existence of a real God. What you believe does not create reality.”
As I grasped this concept, I cried. It was a weird, freeing cry. There was a mixture of tears of happiness and sorrow. I was happy because I realized God was still possible. Maybe, someday, I would believe. Hope and relief rolled in because it dawned on me that I was not in charge of his existence. How arrogant it is to think that one is in charge of such things! But it makes sense to me today that I would think that way because I was the center of my world.
Along with the happiness, I felt great sorrow because I didn’t have God. Why would an atheist who happily behaved as if there was no God want God? There are a lot of answers to that question.
I’ll share one. I did not believe in God but I suspected this: if he existed, he was glorious. He’d have to be. How could God be anything but? We’re talking about God! I knew that he was the supposed God of creation. Would that not mean great power and wonder? I also knew of the prospect of eternal life. If the God of the Bible was real, there was hope and great mercy for my soul, if I had one. If he existed, I suspected there was so much to him. How can one not grieve over not knowing him?
It would be a while before I came to know God – the God of the Bible and only true God – and the life changing joy that’s bound together with that, but it did happen. On November 28, 1987 God revealed his existence to me undeniably. And it was just the beginning of getting to know him. There would be so much more I would come to learn. There is still so much to learn. The Bible still instructs and guides and spurs me on to worship. I’ll never grasp all his glory while I live on this planet or tire of the precious amount I can see. How inconceivable is heaven to me, that which is full of the glory of his presence!
I don’t know how many more anniversaries of my new birth I’ll celebrate before I see him face to face, but I will celebrate each one with deep gratitude. If you know him too, I rejoice with you! If you do not, I implore you, for the sake of your soul, talk to someone who does. Please contact me if you wish. Whether or not you are able to talk to someone, you might find it possible to read the Bible. In it you will learn great things about him. He is the God of creation. He is the God of salvation. He is even more. Hesitate not to cry out to him. He is real. He does exist. He is glorious, and he can make that very, very clear.
“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,” (Romans 8:16)
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)
“and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)