November 4, 2013
John 6:37, 47
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Two days ago my wife and I celebrated our 45th anniversary. Wow! Where has the time gone? It seems not so long ago I was in the Air Force stationed at a radar site outside of Saratoga Springs, New York. Though I served my country during the Vietnam War, I thank God I did not experience the hell of combat. I believe human beings were not made to engage in the atrocities that war produces. I have too many friends who were in Vietnam, and – almost 50 years later – still suffer the effects of that experience.
But back to my last days in the Air Force! I was working in Andy’s Atlantic Gas Station in Mechancville, New York, a few miles away from the radar site. One day a 1957 Chevy pulled up to the pumps, driven by a good-looking blond! I took one look, and fell in love with that car!!! “I’ll get this one,” I told Andy. I pumped gas, cleaned her windshield – and cleaned her windshield, and cleaned her windshield! See, I was checking out this blond’s legs!!! I checked the oil and fan belt – it was a full-service gas station – and by the time she left, I had her name and phone number, and a tentative date eight days hence! We were married eight weeks later!!! I told you it was a full-service gas station!
Now I don’t recommend marrying only eight weeks after meeting your future mate! We could have made a major mistake. But God saw us through any trouble spots – times that all marriages seem to run into – and, 45 years later, I am still happily married to my bride and best friend! By the way, I sold the car and kept the girl!
This reminds me of another anniversary, and I don’t remember the exact date – although I think it was in August of 1965 when I was in Air Force Tech School at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. I met Jerry, who told me he had converted from a Protestant religion – I don’t remember which one – to the Roman Catholic faith. I was fascinated, and wanted to know why. As we talked, I decided I would look into Catholicism more intently. Since I really didn’t have much of a Christian background – and as I more deeply examined the Catholic faith – I decided to become Roman Catholic. I gave it my all! And although I never actually converted, I practiced my Catholic leanings with intensity!
I remember the August night that it happened. I was thinking deeply about spiritual things, and had been reading my New Testament that was issued to me by the Air Force in basic training. About two in the morning, I got out of bed and went to the common bay room. There, I knelt by an open widow and began talking to the Lord. As I watched Airmen and women marching back from night classes, I poured my heart out to Jesus. I even told Him I loved Him.
I surely could not explain my new faith like I can today – that Jesus died for my sins, that He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, that He lives forever to give God’s salvation to anyone who comes unto Him believing. I only knew that night three things:
• Jesus was real!
• Jesus was alive!
• Jesus loved me!
…and I fell head over heels in love with Him! As I look back, I believe that was the night I received the Lord Jesus as my Savior.
That was over 48 years ago! And the life I have today I would not trade for the world or any part of it! Yes, I have had ups and downs in my Christian faith, sometimes more downs than ups! But I have learned and grown over the years, my wife being my major encourager and often my teacher. And the two verses I have chosen for this blog are John 6:37 and 47, the truth of which I am so thankful:
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I
will by no means cast out….Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me
has everlasting life.
I have everlasting life and I will never be cast out away from my Lord! In my thinking, perhaps I should have been cast away. But, as it says in II Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” What wonderful assurance! What a wonderful truth to celebrate Looking Back Over The Years!