Wouldn’t you know it; we’d been walking down a busy street when a man’s voice could be heard over the noise of the traffic. As we neared his words could be heard more plainly. He was preaching to the passing crowds about salvation, the need to repent and to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
We stopped to listen. God must have been working in our hearts and, as the preacher took time to speak with us, our hearts were opened. Then and there we prayed and conversion took place. This was the 1950’s when street preaching was more common than it is today.
People are surprised to learn that I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior on a street corner from a man who preached the Word of God every Friday evening to one and all. Most hurried by. I didn’t. That was fifty-five years ago.
The intervening years were a mix of spiritual ups and downs. As I look back I can see the hand of God in my life, I can see the path as He guided me. But I know the tortuous way I took, the dedicated early years, the many years of drifting and the final years of return.
One Sunday in particular stands out in my mind. It was in the 1980’s. I was home alone. I remember clearly that the Lord spoke to me and convicted me such that I literally fell to my knees and cried out, “Yes, Lord, I re-dedicate my life to you. I am tired of living without you. Forgive my sins.” A simple prayer. A welcome joy.
I didn’t know what to expect, but I told my friends, a Pastor and his wife, who rejoiced with me. They had held me in their prayers. My mother had as well. How many others did I do not know.
I cannot honestly say the road back to a stronger relationship with the Lord was unbroken. But I can say I stuck to my daily Bible reading and prayers. And while there many times of failure there were increasingly many more times of refreshing and growth.
I’ve learned from experience, mine and others, that the path to spiritual maturity is never constantly linear. It is strewn with rocks and hurdles of all kinds set there to strengthen our faith and love for Him Who gave His all that we might have life and have it more abundantly. To Him be all the glory and all the praise! Amen!