I had another post planned for today, but it just seems too unimportant right now.
On Easter Sunday in 1998, I went with my grandma to an Easter play at a local church. After the play, the preacher spoke and gave an alter call. I remember sitting in the pew and listening to the preacher and feeling like I was the only person in that church. I remember standing up and walking to the altar with a heavy heart. I could see that I was walking, but I didn’t feel like I was moving. I knelt down and the preacher led me in prayer to accept Jesus as my Savior.
Growing up, I had a wonderful childhood. We lived out a road and had several neighbors that were close in age to us. We all played together for years, and had some of the best times. We built forts and played in the woods. We stayed outside from sunrise to sunset and our parents often had to drag us inside at night. We had our own little gang, and we spent our summers, weeknights, and weekends running wild in those hills.
One of the boys that we played with used to always ‘hound’ me about getting saved. At the time, he and his sister, as well as my brother, were all saved. I was the only one out of our sibling group that hadn’t accepted Jesus into my life. I told him that I would ‘get saved’ when the time was right, and that it was okay because the Bible said that you were exempt from getting saved until you were 12. I totally made that up because I just felt empty that I hadn’t yet accepted Jesus into my life. They talked about how wonderful it was to accept Christ in your life and I really felt like I was missing out on something.
After I accepted Christ in my life on that Easter Sunday, I couldn’t wait to go tell my neighbor boy that I had finally gotten saved. All that time he spent talking to me about Jesus had paid off.
Today, I’m going to my neighbor boy’s funeral and burial, just yards away from where we spent our carefree childhood days. My heart hurts so much for his family. I can’t imagine the pain they feel. I pray for peace for his family that transcends human understanding.
But I know there is hope for his family. The kind of hope that you can only have by knowing that your loved one is spending his days with Jesus now. And hope that you, too, will join him again someday.
Today, Jesus is, among many other things, hope.
If you don’t know Him today, know this: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”, John 3:16.
God loves you that much.