When I was 14 years old, I was invited to attend a week of church camp. I decided to go because I had heard about all of the fun activities. I went with my guard up because this was a pretty religious group. When someone asked me, “Do you know for sure you will go to heaven when you die?” I was put off and thought that was a rather arrogant statement. I hoped I would go to heaven. I knew I was a sinner and not perfect. I knew I was making some wrong choices, but I wasn’t as bad as many other people. At the time I was confused and wasn’t sure what I thought about God and spiritual things.
For the first few days I listened to the bible messages (There seemed to be a lot of them.), and I was very skeptical. I knew I was a sinner, but I couldn’t believe that my parents, as good as they were, would deserve hell. I went to bed each night troubled. Finally on Wednesday evening I asked to talk to one of the counselors who showed me from the Bible how I could know for sure I had a home in heaven. On July 10, 1974, I simply bowed my head and asked the Lord to forgive me of my sins and to save me. Now I knew I was on my way to heaven, and it didn’t seem arrogant to say so. I found great peace and wanted so badly to share it with my family. None of us are good enough to get to heaven by our own efforts and no matter how many wrong choices I had made God forgave them.
From that day on my life changed drastically and the Bible became my constant source of help. I am so thankful for a good church and people who mentored me in how to grow in Christ.
I will spend today singing this chorus –
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.
Yes, it has been a year of heartache but I am finding that “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart” (Ps. 34:18a), that “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Ps. 147:3), and that the sting of death in this sin-filled world has not overshadowed the victory I have found in Christ (I Cor. 15:55-57). So today I will not only be singing this little chorus, but I will be singing the final verse of this song –
I trust in Him from day to day
I prove His saving grace
I’ll sing this song of praise to Him
Until I see His face.
It is my heart’s desire that I would spend the rest of my days “fanning the flame” that God started in my life on July 10, 1974. THANK YOU, LORD, FOR SAVING MY SOUL!