I wasn’t in a Church service, not at a crusade, nor a Bible study, nor any other religious meeting. I was on the road of everyday life, when I met Him for the first time. It was getting late and I was tired, having been so sick and recently out of the hospital. In my weakened state and bewilderment over why my life had been spared, I met Him. Here’s the “backstory” of how I met Jesus at a well one day, which inspires my writing… I hope it will encourage you to seek Him and encourage your own faith journey, no matter where you are at.
First, I must digress momentarily….
As a child I grew up singing, “Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so,” in Sunday school at our Lutheran Church. I am afraid, however, that I repeated those words without really knowing, in my own heart, that they were true. I had a longing to know that love which I sang about. However, we didn’t read the Bible at home, and no one ever seemed to tell me what those words meant. I would sit in Sunday school wondering if the Bible stories I heard were any different than the fairy tales we read or the cartoons I watched on television at home. I am sure that my Sunday school teachers, my parents, Confirmation class instructors and others tried to convey the truth of God’s love to me, but somehow I missed it. I had always wondered about the truth of the Gospel I’d heard as a child, but I wasn’t absolutely sure. I had become arrogant, prideful and disdainful of Church and churched people at various points in my university and law school years….but deep-down inside something was missing. I had finally decided to read the Bible as a married adult with children, because I had come to the place in life where I needed to know if it was true or not. If it was true, it made all the difference in the world. If it wasn’t, it was totally irrelevant. I had to know which it was.
It wasn’t until, after a very near brush with death through a serious sickness as an adult, that I realized that those Bible stories and the words of that Sunday school song were true. Here is how I came to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and to put my trust in Him.
One evening, I was lying in my bed reading the Bible. I had been gravely ill, with sepsis. By all reasonable estimations, I shouldn’t be here right now. Also, I had a brother who was to have a very serious surgery the next day. Desperate circumstances have a way of reminding us of what is really important in life. That particular night, I felt a deep longing to pray for my brother’s protection and healing. However, despite a nearly life-long habit of church attendance, I realized that I didn’t know how to pray, and didn’t really know the one to whom I was praying. I wasn’t even sure if He was real.
Out of desperation, I grabbed the Bible off of our bedroom bookshelf and flipped it open. It was the Bible that my mother had given me ten years earlier as a wedding gift. That night, I read these words found in John 14:6 (TLB), (Jesus said) “I am the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by means of me.” It was as if those words came to life and it felt as though they leapt off that Bible page and touched my heart. I had a sudden, instantaneous understanding that the Bible was true. It was like darkness lifted off of my mind and light came streaming in….I was amazed. In that moment a love and peace, which I had never known, flooded through me. I was bewildered and awestruck.
After years of attending churches as a matter of religious habit, I suddenly knew, in my own heart, Jesus Christ’s forgiveness and love. In a moment, a then thirty-six year old wife and stay-at-home Mom, was instantly converted to Christ. I fell deeply in love with Jesus and He began to become my Lord…