I was lost. I was sitting in a side pew of Calvary Baptist church in Friona Texas. Why was I there? That was a question I asked myself. I’m not a church person, I thought silently, as the preacher preached and the choir sang. Church is not where I belong. I’d been here before, when I was twelve years old and attended Vacation Bible School. Now I was almost seventeen and couldn’t wait for the service to end. Why did I ever let my sister talk me into coming?
I felt something…a tug…towards the end of the service…was it God? The preacher was urging people to come forward and give their hearts to Jesus, but I pushed aside the urge to respond. I didn’t know…and didn’t care to know…that much about Jesus. I understood He was the Son of God and had died on a cross. What all this had to do with me, I had no idea. I just wanted to get home and change back into my jeans, eat and watch TV. Would this preacher ever stop talking? When the last prayer ended, I pushed my way through the crowd of people and out the door. I’m sure now that Satan smiled.
To my own surprise, I found myself in the same pew again the very next evening. This time, I purposely sat at the end…near the wall…just in case that feeling of wanting to give in to the urge and step down the aisle returned. It was the last day of the revival; my sister would be happy I had come, then my life could return to normal. My safety zone was in place…six people, mostly family members, sat between me and that aisle. With my shyness, all the urging in the world would not make me push through that many people. I was fine.
Then, the tugging started, along with the preaching. “Jesus loves you, He will forgive every sin in your life and you can start new…be the person He wants you to be. Make a decision to follow Him today.”
I wanted to give in, but I’d have to change so many things…the way I dress…I’d have to go to church! “But” the quiet but urgent voice told me “you will be happy, free, you will never be alone again. Jesus knows you. He loves you. He died for you…paid the price for you with His own blood.”
We stood to sing the last song and the preacher said, “Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart. Don’t leave here tonight without letting Him come in.”
That did it. I shoved the hymnal I shared with my brother into his hands, pushed past him, my Mom and everyone else in the pew and made my way down the aisle. I took the Pastor’s hand and told him, “I want to be a Christian.”
The joy that came and the burden I felt lifted off me by making that one decision! This was just a foretaste of what was to come. That night, in Calvary Baptist Church, in Friona Texas, Jesus found me!
I was lost, and Jesus found me
Found the sheep that went astray,
Threw His loving arms around me,
Drew me back into His way!
Don’t push aside the urgings of Jesus’ Holy Spirit. Make the decision today to follow Him.