I gave my life to Christ as a young child. My family attended a small church of less than 100 people, most of the families were retired couples, but they were excited to have my family a part of their church. There was a regular worship service where we would sing songs from an old hymnal and then listen to the pastor speak. Before the service, we would have Bible school. Like many young and new believers, I was excited about learning more about Jesus and I read my children’s Bible over and over again. Attending Bible Sunday School before the sermon was a highlight for me. In our class, it was just myself and my sister and the occasional child who’s family was on vacation or visiting their grandparents. The room we had our Sunday School class in was no bigger than a walk in closet. I remember there being just enough room for the teacher to walk around the table at one end and for us to sit on either side.
We would listen to stories about Joshua and the battle of Jericho, Jesus and healing the man at the pool, Zacheus the wee little man, and we got to ask all kinds of questions. Our Sunday School teacher encouraged all kinds of questions, and we would ask. If I wasn’t at church asking questions, I’d ask my mother. I would be playing with my toys, or thinking about whatever and then I would march into my mother’s kitchen and ask her and she usually had an answer, or she would tell me to ask my father, who had many answers about the natural world, being that his profession at the time was a science and math teacher.
One day, I think I was about eight years old, and I had a question about the return of Jesus and the rapture. I wanted to know if there was a possibility if anyone could be saved after the return of Christ. This was not the first question and I had been bombarding her with questions all day long. Either my mother didn’t want to answer any more questions, or she didn’t truly have the answer because her reply to me was, “I don’t know, why don’t you go ask God.”
I was astounded by my mother telling me to go ask God for myself. I remember thinking, I can do that? We had been learning about Samuel who was woke up by God in the middle of the night, and went and then woke up Eli, thinking that Eli had called him. I thought, well, ok, I’m going to go talk to God about this, because it’s important.
I went into my bedroom and prayed sincerely and then I waited. I truly expected that I would hear a voice talking to me from out of nowhere. I’m not exactly sure how long I waited, a child’s perception of time is vastly different than reality, but it seemed like a really long time to me. I began to be sad, because I truly expected to audibly hear His voice. In my sadness I reached for the Children’s Bible that sat on the bookshelf in my sister’s and mine bedroom. It had beautiful templates that illustrated the stories. There were pictures of David and Goliath, Noah’s Ark and the animals marching up a ramp, pictures of Jesus healing the lepers, and Daniel in the lion’s den. I loved that Bible. I started reading some of the stories I had read several times before, and read the parable of the 12 virgins and the 12 lamps of oil. I had read this parable several times before, but never understood it.
As I read, I began to understand. Here in this Children’s Bible was the answer I had sincerely asked my mother and then sincerely asked God to speak to me. I began to understand that there is a finality to God’s plan for salvation, that there will be a period of time where what we know and understand will change, and the door will close.
This simple act began a very deep and rich pursuit of hearing God through His word. Each time I read His word I get a deeper understanding of God’s love, and how much He speaks to me personally through each book of the Bible. I eventually graduated to a Kings James Bible and have read through the entire thing straight through more than once. It’s beautiful, it’s book that has the life of God running through it and I am renewed each time I read it. Anytime I have a question or fear, I ask God and then read my Bible and patiently wait as I read, because eventually the answer will be revealed through His word.