After several years of avoiding God and making God stay out of my business — which was the business of doing whatever I felt like doing — I had an encounter with God that completely changed me. It started innocently enough. Several months pregnant with my first child, I attended a service in the church where I’d initially accepted Jesus as Savior at age fourteen. I went with a childhood friend. When the congregation was invited to come to the front and pray, I went. Quietly, because I’m a private person, I knelt and re-launched my commitment to follow Christ. No sirens. No announcements. Not even a sentence to my friend that I’d done this.
After my baby was born, my heart became more sensitive to spiritual things. I dug out my bible and started to read. Gradually, the love that I once had for the scriptures returned. My husband had become a Christian a year or two earlier, and we began to attend church more often. But I felt somewhat stand-offish; I didn’t want to be sucked into a dominant church life.
At one morning service, as the congregation sang and praised, I closed my eyes and a scene unfolded in my mind. I saw myself as I’d lived for a few years, with my back to Jesus, my ears shut to his words, ignoring him. I saw clearly that he’d been within reach the whole time I had lived in rebellion. This revelation stunned me. Then words echoed: the faithfulness of God, the faithfulness of God — over and over. I came undone, tears gushed, and I trembled even to my toes.
The knowledge of God’s faithfulness seemed too wonderful.
I’ve never gotten over the incredible grace of God. God let me off the hook and didn’t hold my sins against me. Faithfulness — that word as I heard it then still echoes in my mind. I can barely hear or utter the word without shedding a tear. It’s been years, and still the beauty of that experience centers me. My whole life since then has hung on God’s faithfulness.
God’s faithfulness is a hook you can hang your life on. And it’ll never come loose.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. — Luke 15:20 (NIV)
Rose McCormick Brandon writes from her home in Ontario, Canada. She writes mainly for Christian publications. Her pieces often appear on The Word Guild short list. Rose is the author of a Canadian history book, Promises of Home—Stories of Canada’s British Home Children. You can read her blog, Listening to my Hair Grow, at http://rosemccormickbrandon.wordpress.com.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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