I recently opened my bedside drawer and saw my little, burgundy New Testament that changed my life.
A smile crept across my face as I remembered receiving it over 50 years ago while attending public school. I was almost 12. Although we went to church as a family, I did not have my own Bible. I was grateful to receive it, but unfortunately, I did not read it until about a year later.
Life changed dramatically in our family. A driver under the influence of alcohol struck my oldest sister. Tragically, she died. As I stared at her broken form in the casket, I remember thinking that death had always been reserved for old people. Definitely not for people who were only 20 and about to be married in a few months. Definitely not for my sister! She was too young to die!
As you can imagine, I wondered why God had allowed this to happen. I asked my parents, but they had no answers. I knew God was real. I had been taught that He was sovereign.
My Dad did give me some solid advice, which I took to heart. “Don’t let yourself get bitter over this.” Still, I wondered if I might find some answers in my little New Testament. I started to read. I got through the gospels and the book of Acts, but when I got to the book of Romans, the whole thing just started to go right over my youthful bangs.
However, the Lord tells us that His Word will not return to Him void, but will accomplish what He pleases. Years later when I was seeking God again, verses that I had read came back to me. Verses like, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” “I am the way, the truth and the life…” Whether I learned that in Sunday school, heard Billy Graham preach it, read it in Catherine Marshall’s books, or in my little Testament, the Holy Spirit brought the Scriptures back to my mind.
Those months of reading every night before I went to bed began to produce fruit. I truly believe that the Word of God was planted in my heart, and God used various means to water it, feed it and bring it to birth in my life.
On August 25, 1973, I made a decision to commit my life to Christ. I have never looked back. I have never regretted it.
Did I uncover why God allowed my sister to be killed in a car accident? No, but I did come to be at peace with it. You see, after I became a Christian, I went home to share with my parents about the decision I had made. I asked my father if he had ever asked Christ into his life. He said that he had! When I asked when, he responded, “When your sister died.”
I also found a New Testament that had belonged to her. It was marked on how to be born again by the Spirit of God. I met someone who had been in a Bible study with her while she was training to be a nurse. I believe Jesus gave me the assurance that my sister is with Jesus.
I have studied the book of Job and found that Job didn’t get a clear answer to all the questions he asked. But he did receive a greater revelation of the greatness and wonder of God and found Him to be greatly compassionate and merciful. I think Job also realized that he did not need to know all the answers. By faith, it is enough to know that my Heavenly Father knows all, and that He is all to me.