The Journey of a Lifetime

“But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles.” Galatians 1:15-16

When I think about God setting me apart for salvation even before I was born, I have indescribable joy in heart. There aren’t enough words in the English language to express my gratitude to God for what He has done in my life. Looking back, I see God’s protection all over me. Not just since I’ve been a Christian, but before I was a Christian. The Bible says he had a plan for our lives from before we were born.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

This verse in context is referring to the man from the old testament, Jeremiah who God would, at the just the right, appoint as a prophet. The very fact that He sets us apart shows us we have a purpose and that purpose is to glorify him with our lives by making choices that honor him and conforming our will to His.

Nothing in our lives happens by accident. Even before we become Christians, God is orchestrating our lives in ways we are often completely unaware of in order to bring about His purposes. Of course, we have free will and we can always dismiss any opportunities that come into our lives, but God provides many opportunities to turn our lives around. Understanding how to reconcile God’s sovereignty with free will is completely beyond my understanding. 

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29

After we become Christians, as we walk closely with God by reading His Word, praying, and gathering with other believers in worship services and in our homes, we are more able to see what God is doing in our lives and what he has done while He was drawing us to himself. 

When I think back to some of the stupid choices I made in my life; if God hadn’t protected me during those times my life could have been ruined. But there was one choice made nearly 30 years ago that changed my life completely.

It took place during a difficult time in my life in June of 1993. I wasn’t a Christian. I didn’t know how to be a Christian. I didn’t even know what Christianity was! Out of the blue, I was very strongly drawn to a bookstore to purchase a bible. I had no idea why; actually I didn’t even wonder why. I just knew that I HAD to get to a bookstore to purchase a bible. I went into the bookstore and asked for a bible. The clerk asked me what kind of bible I wanted? (I didn’t even know there were different kinds of bibles). I told him I didn’t know so he gave me a King James Version.  

I went home and didn’t really read the bible but I read a little section in the back about how to become a Christian. It said, if I wanted to make a decision to become a Christian, I should sign on the signature line at the bottom of the page. I thought it sounded like something that would be good to do so I signed my name and put the book away. I really had no idea what I had just done or why I did it. I just knew I liked what it said and it seemed to be a good thing to do.

Fast forward a few months, in December of 1993, my husband and I were about to move from California to Pennsylvania; quite a long journey. As we packed our belongings, I must have brought the bible in the truck with me rather than packing it. Why? I have no idea. I hadn’t opened it in months. You’d think I would have just packed it up with the rest of the books.

One day during the very long, boring trip though the desert, I saw that it was in the truck and I started reading Matthew 5; the sermon on the mount. After reading for a while, I alarmingly said to my husband “I’m doomed!” You should read what’s in here! I’ve already done alot of what is in here; how will I ever be forgiven? 

The rest of the trip was a difficult one as I thought and thought about how I could still get to heaven despite the fact that I had just found out I was a terrible sinner. Finally, we arrived in Pennsylvania just two days before my parents were to be singing in a choir at a local church for a Christmas program. My mother asked if we would attend. Feeling the way I did, I was afraid to even enter a church. I was tired, depressed, fearful and I just didn’t want to go but I knew if we didn’t go my mother would be disappointed. So, God used two unsaved people (my mother and father) to get us into the church.

My husband and I walked into that church on December 19, 1993 as two unsaved people on their way to hell and left the church as two people gloriously saved by the grace and mercy of God; the sacrifice of love made for us by Jesus Christ on the cross; and the opening of our hearts by the precious Holy Spirit to enable us to understand the scriptures we were hearing.

The verse that got to me was John 5:24…

The pastor read, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 

Those words were like a healing balm to my soul….”crossed over from death to life.

God had been working in my life, drawing me without me being aware of what was going on in my soul. He had been orchestrating circumstances that showed me how much I needed the saving grace of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s almost thirty years since that amazing experience and I have been at that church ever since. My husband and my parents are now in heaven because of the faithfulness of a pastor to the Word of God; the grace and mercy of a loving God who drew us to Jesus, the savior who died in our place; and the Spirit who opened our hearts to understand what Jesus had done for us. And, I will see my Savior and my family again in heaven one day. So this is the way God chose for me to see my need for Christ…on a road trip! There were many serious difficulties along the way that almost prevented us from getting to Pennsylvania in time; but God had a plan and His plan could not be thwarted. This was the journey of a lifetime! One I will never forget! 

The faithful pastor at Christ Evangelical Free Church at that time was Pastor Phil Bubar who is now serving at The Chapel in Michigan. Listen to his sermons 

And if you’d like to hear the sermons from the church where 5 needy souls met Jesus, listen to the sermons at Christ Evangelical Free Church every Sunday.

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