It was a Sunday in September in the year 1975 when four words changed the course of life. That was 14,609 days ago and all the in-betweens that came from a moment when just as I am reluctantly went to a church service by way of a child’s hand. And so, since I didn’t want to be there, a wretch like me had a plan of escape, and hid out of view in the back pew close to the door.
Make sense out of mysterious ways. As far away as I was from God, that’s how near He was to me. And for some (un)known reason, I enrolled my kids in a Christian school affiliated with a church that had the handy out-of-view back pew waiting just for me.
This month marks my fortieth birthday in Jesus.
And yes, I remember the exact day and divine instant when Mercy met me in the middle of my madness. The historic marker in life that will remain a monument.
I don’t remember one word the pastor said that morning – only four – “Come as you are.” I was sure he must’ve been talking to those who deserved to be in a front row seat, but before I knew what happened, I was on my way down the aisle and took a fortunate fall at the feet of Jesus.
I walked out of there not knowing any more than when I walked in, except that life stopped and started. Over.
And it began with one step in a different direction.
So, the story changed – and I love to tell it. And the world changed, but the story didn’t – and so I still love to tell it. And will continue to. Sharing our faith story isn’t about trying to change the way others think, it’s about changing the way they hope. And we all need hope . . .
Our testimony is precious gold woven through each holy moment of wounds and wonders along our path. It can be the jewel you offer to someone that will bring hope to them.
We’re all in a different place – some starting a journey, some tired from the journey, and some who don’t know where they are on the journey. Each milestone charts grace along the way and mercy will collide in the place right where you’re fainting.
The Israelites had pillars and manna to keep them on course for a forty-year trek to remind them of God’s faithfulness. I’ve had enough amazing experiences for the same amount of time to prove the power and mercy of a real and on-time God.
Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness these forty years, humbling and testing you, to prove your character and to find out whether or not you would obey His commandments. Deuteronomy 8:2
And it proves so much more . . . His faithfulness. Tell your story of God’s faithfulness and make someone’s day. They’re dying to hear it.