Psalm 116:1 I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.
My story Part 1: Although I was raised going to church, albeit a liberal one, I never developed faith to speak of. The idea of being born again or meeting Jesus in a personal way was totally foreign to me. When I went to college, what little faith I might have had was lost due to atheistic instructors and discussions with unbelieving students who seemed intent on obliterating any ideas of faith.
I came from a good home. I was close to my mom but my father and I argued when we were together and loved each other while apart. In the fall of ’68, while a junior in college, I agreed to go to a Christian retreat with them. It still amazes me that I went, but nothing was going on that weekend at college and it was important to them – so I went. The retreat center was at an old time camp back in the woods overlooking a small lake in Michigan.
In the first large meeting, a man spoke about the love of Jesus in a way that I had never heard before. In fact he talked as though he knew Him – personally! I was somewhat saddened by it because I thought, “If Jesus were real, that’s what He would be like – but what good did it do me?” I couldn’t believe – or so I thought. After the meeting, all of the high school and college age went to a separate meeting room. There were about fifteen of us sitting in a circle and I was easily the oldest.
The man came in and asked if there was anyone there who didn’t know Jesus as Lord. I was too embarrassed to raise my hand. He then asked if there was anyone with any doubt about it. Something raged within me as I sat there and I struggled with whether or not to raise my hand. In spite of thinking there was no hope for me, I lifted my hand.
I was then startled by one of the young men (age 15) who jumped up from his seat, pushed a chair into the center of the circle of students and enthusiastically said to me, “This is where you meet Jesus!”
To be continued tomorrow….