Where do we get this hope? We get it when we accept Jesus as our Savior. We become born again. The bible tells us we are a new creature in Christ. Wow!
He found me at the age of 12 in a little Baptist Church in Raytown, MO. I was not raised in a Christian home. The first person God had in His plan for me was my girlfriends little ole grandmother, Mrs. Haas. She would take us to church and would see to it that we got to go to Vacation Bible School every summer. One day, I was told about salvation and about eternal life. God softened my heart and I accepted Him as my Savior.
It would be another 15 years before God would come knocking on my heart again. A lot happened in those 15 years of growing up. As I look back I see this too as part of God’s plan for my life. Fast forward, I graduated from high school, got married, had two children. I was living the American Dream. But something was missing in my life. Little did I know, it was a relationship with Jesus. God was about to change that and He would use my children to bring me into that relationship.
One day my kids came to me and began to ask me questions of how we got here, and if there was a God. Well I believed in God and that was about it for me. I told them we would go together to church and we would learn about God.
The next Sunday we were off to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. My plan was not to get involved in any way, shape, or form in the church. My plan was to just go for my children – so I thought. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was very nervous. I knew no one. I was a green horn at this religion thing! I found a place to sit. I was really uncomfortable in this setting to say the least. The music began and we all started singing some very hard to sing hymns. Finally the signing ended. Next the Priest said to turn to someone and greet them. “Oh great”, I thought. I stood there frozen. Then, this sweet woman turned around and smiled at me. She was going to be very instrumental in my life and with my walk with the Lord. She was a gift from God. One of the many gifts He had waiting for me.
One Sunday, as I entered the front door of the Church, a very petite lady came up to me. She said, “I ordered you a book. The class starts Tuesday.” Then off she went. My first thought was, “Oh great! How do I get out of this? The last thing I want to do is go to a women’s study group.” Tuesday came and I decided to go. The book was titled “The Edge of Adventure”. This would be the book that God would use to hook me and reel me into a relationship with Him. I practically underlined the whole book. It was really touching my heart. I didn’t know this at the time but when God starts working in your life, Satan says, “NO, NO, NO, she is mine”. A battle begins for your soul.
One day as I was watching a Christian television program, a knock at my door came. It was Jehovah’s Witness. They wanted to tell me about their faith, so I let them in. They proceeded to tear down what little I knew and told me they had the truth. They were the only way to get into heaven. I was totally confused now! I began to question if I was where I was supposed to be. If I was really going to commit to this, I wanted to be in the right church.
A few days later, the Church of Christ knocked on my door. They too left me in a confused state. I needed to talk to someone and the only one I knew to call was that lady who had smiled at me the first time I came to church. I called her and shared that I didn’t know if I was where I was supposed to be. I told her about my visit with Jehovah’s Witness and the Church of Christ. She just listened and told me to really pray about it. In the mean time, she was on the prayer chain line calling people telling them to pray for me.
Tuesday Bible study was approaching and I had prepared my lesson. I wasn’t ready to walk out just yet. That day will be forever in my mind and heart. I didn’t know what a supernatural encounter with Christ was, but in a couple of hours I would. My life would be forever CHANGED.
The study ended and I left for home more confused and depressed. I was feeling very desperate for the TRUTH. So driving home in my little brown Chevette, I just cried out to God; ” I don’t know if you were just a good man who walked this earth as a teacher or if you are the LORD. I just don’t know what to believe!!!” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, a garbage truck pulled up beside me. On the truck in big black bold letters it had this to say to me: JESUS IS THE LORD! “Oh my! Did I see what I thought I saw?” I was in the left lane so I pulled over into the right lane and got behind the truck. I know you all have seen the back of a garbage truck. They are filthy and stuff is flying around in them. Not in this truck. It was sparkling clean!
Well there was no denying what I had seen. God had just taken time out to personally set me straight about who He was.
I got home and was busting to tell someone. I knew I couldn’t tell my family, they would think I had lost it. So I called the lady who had befriended me that very first Sunday with her smile. I knew I could tell her and she wouldn’t think I had lost my mind. When I told her what had happened, she rejoiced with me!
I would like to take you back and let you see the many people God put in my life. Mrs. Haas – she planted the seed in me. My children who God used to get me back into church. The lady who first smiled at me and later became my BFF in Christ. And finally, the petite lady who took it upon herself to buy me the book and invite me to the study.
Some plant, some water, and God makes it grow.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 1 Corinthians 3:6-8
I am so thankful for the people God has put in my life to bring me to HIM.
My prayer for those who are reading this and don’t know Christ as their personal Savior, is that He will send special people into your life to plant the seed, water it, and for GOD to make you grow. There is no better friend than Jesus throughout your journey on this Earth. He will not fail you.
Jesus is the reason for my HOPE.