"Mom, tell me about the time when..."
How often I've heard this from my daughter in her growing-up years, and how many times I asked that of my own mom. We all love a true story, don't we?
Blogging is such a great medium for sharing the immediacy of our lives--what we did today, what we're thinking about, etc. It's gives readers a sense of real-time connection with the writer, instead of the distance we feel with articles or books, for example.
I like that, but sometimes I wonder about the larger context of those writers' lives. Where did they grow up? What was their family like? Each of us has a story, one that made us who we are, a story that God Himself wrote with love and design. Fascinating, inspiring, no two alike.
So I've decided that from time to time I'll share something here of my own story. It's good for me to remember the great goodness of the Lord in every step of my life, good to give Him the credit for a faithfulness that I don't deserve. Maybe something in my story will encourage you in yours.
God came on the scene very early in my life. My parents were church-going Christians, and Sundays found us dressed in our pretty dresses and off to church and Sunday School. I must have known about Jesus from my earliest days, but it wasn't until one night when I was five years old that I really met Him.
My parents, little sister and I were sitting in the living room watching a Billy Graham crusade on our black-and-white TV. He was talking about sin, and said something to the effect that sin gave us a black heart. Jesus came and died for our sins so that we could have our hearts washed clean, forgiven and made new, with the gift of life in heaven forever with Him.
He was talking to me. I was struck to the core. Crawling up on the sofa next to my dad, I said, "Daddy, I have a black heart!"
He didn't laugh or make light of my earnest conviction. Gently he reviewed what we'd just heard Mr. Graham say about salvation and my need to deal with my now-understood sin issue. Jesus loved me. Jesus died for me. "Would you like to ask Jesus into your heart right now?" he asked.
I nodded eagerly, and together we knelt down beside the sofa. He led me in the sinner's prayer, and to my five-year-old understanding, I got up knowing that I was a Christian, now with a clean, white heart.
No one can tell me that salvation can't be authentic in young children. Even though I recommitted my life to Christ years later, I knew without a shadow of a doubt from that moment by the sofa that I belonged to Jesus. I carried with me all my childhood years an inner knowing that He was in me and with me.
Thank you, Billy Graham, for your faithful preaching. Thank you, Daddy, for showing me the way--both then and ever after--how to trust Jesus with my life. And thank You, dear Lord, for sending loving and faithful people into my life to show me Your way!