Hello! Perhaps we have just met in passing; perhaps you are a friend, or family member who has known me for years. Life may all seem like chance; the people we meet, the ones we are related to, and the things that happen to us as we ‘bump’ along. Please allow me to tell you my story…
I was very young when my parents divorced. I observed first-hand the violence and arguments that took place in our home. This that got me thinking, early in life, about big questions, such as life and death. I didn’t want to die, and hoped that maybe I could be close enough to God that He would just take me to heaven. I tried to be good, and be a peacemaker between my parents.
One day I was playing with my older sister. I got so frustrated at her that I hit her on the head with a toy, and made her cry. Perhaps you have seen something similar in children playing, or even remember a similar situation in your own childhood! Instantly I felt guilty. I did not even want to sleep in the same room as my sister, because I just felt awful about what I had done. I wanted to get away from the feeling, and anyone who reminded me that things were not right. I asked my mother if I could sleep in the guest bedroom.
The Bible says I was doing the actions of my father, the Devil. (John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him…”) Jesus taught that the actions we do secretly, even in our mind, are as if we had actually committed them: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5 –The Sermon on the Mount) I John 3:15 says, “Whosoever hateh his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
There I lay, on the guest bed with a big load of guilt above me. Have you ever felt guilty? It is an awful feeling! Something else was also hanging over my head, too: my dad’s trophy elk, nailed on the wall. I stared up at it, and to my childish mind, I could not seem to think how something so big, with all those heavy sharp antlers could be securely fastened to the wall! Then the ‘what-ifs’ started running through my mind! “If that fell, what would happen to me? Those sharp antlers could pierce right through my heart.” I knew because of my sin, demonstrated in that hateful action towards my sister, that if I died, I was going to Hell. I realized I was guilty, my sin making me the enemy of God!
My mom heard me crying, and came in to see what was the matter. I told her. Then she explained something that blew me away: Jesus died in my place! He died and paid the penalty for my sin, so that I would not have to go to Hell. I asked Jesus if He would do just that! It still baffles me to this day why God would shoulder the responsibility and guilt of my sin and pay its awful penalty (death and Hell), and that I could have forgiveness and a home in heaven; His goodness shields me from the Divine Wrath we all deserve. He gives me peace and a clean conscience. Relief flooded my mind that night, and I felt like the plug had been pulled on a bathtub of dirty water in my soul. All that uncleanness and sin had been building up in my soul, but Christ took it all away. I am just so, SO thankful! When I stand before God one day, I will be clinging to Christ to shield me from God’s judgment of sin, rather than the good works that I might have done.
I still had a lot to learn as a Christian after I was saved as a young child, and must say how instrumental it was for me to attend a Bible-preaching church. Through regular attendance, I learned how important the Bible is, and to read it daily, as God’s letter to me. I also learned that I would still make mistakes, but the Holy Spirit, speaking through God’s Word, would convict me as to how to make it right again, and train me how to break sin’s hold on my life. Sometimes, the Lord shows me why He allows certain things to happen in my life.
Perhaps you think that what happens to you in life is just chance. Perhaps, like most people, you have just been so busy with life as to not bother with thoughts of “Why” and “What if?” My friend, please consider my story. Perhaps it is God using my experiences to speak to you.