1180 words

I was saved on a Sunday afternoon quite a while ago; so much has transpired since, that the exact date of this happy moment has since faded into the lucid banks of fog that lie on the edge of our planes of memory.
I did, however, recently discover the inscription on my first Bible, “2nd September, 2006”, in the place allocated for “Date of Salvation” written in my Father’s handwriting.
If this record is indeed true, and the date accurate of my happy day, then I thank God for having made known His salvation to me at a young and appropriate age — I was saved at four years old.

As aforementioned, I was saved on a Sunday afternoon. It was a bright, radiant afternoon, quite worthy of its name, and it was about the time when the whole world is seemingly enveloped in a drowsy lull where the rustle of the wind and the occasional faraway trilling of a bird contribute to the general somnolence.

It would be important to note here that even as a young child, I had been made aware of my need to be saved — such is the mind produced by a Christian upbringing.
I knew all the key factors — the inherent presence of the sin nature in all of us, I knowing myself to be a particularly good specimen of its effects; God who is holy and must one day judge sin in righteousness; heaven and hell, those eternal destinations; one awe-inspiring in its eternal grandeur and glory, and the other awful in its everlasting gloom and ghastliness; “Where would I end up?” Was the question I always knew to associate with these two places — in fact, the whole matter seemed to me then simple in its structure, uncomplicated in its truth and implication; but then, so does it appear to many other individuals, who likewise hear and understand, and then merrily go on, without so much as considering that vital step that will guarantee them everlasting life.
Such was the way I viewed the whole matter of salvation — knowing everything about it, but lacking that one thing to make it mine, only mine.

That Sunday afternoon changed everything forever.

The rest of the family was in their respective apartments, resting, for an afternoon siesta is usually our custom before the evening gatherings come around.
I was originally supposed to follow the example of the rest, but somehow found myself unable to accomplish any state close to falling asleep. Staring at the white ceiling for the remainder of the afternoon did not present itself as a very inviting option, so I betook myself to the lower portion of the house.
The living room was full of books, and I loved to read. But among all the books present that day, I was drawn to a little blue basket reposing on the coffee table quite full with a couple of a dozen little gospel tracts.
These little tracts are known to us familiarly as “Chick tracts”, after their author, and each comes in the form of a comic strip, addressing some issue or mode of thinking, and then bringing in a nice little gospel message out of it.

The tract that opened my eyes to the Saviour was one titled “War Zone”. I have no recollection of how many times I may have perused its contents before, but that day, its words seemed different, significant — as if it had been written specially for me.
I can still remember that little booklet, with its cover coloured in orange and black, and its title printed in bold white letters on the front.
The story it told was one easy to follow. A school, overflowing with bad examples, delinquents, and misguided and morally questionable young people, is one day possessed of the presence of a timid Christian boy who in turn is possessed of a large quantity of gospel tracts carried about in his backpack.
However, in the same school, there is a terrible bully, notorious for being the “biggest big bad” in the institution.
The two meet. The bully assaults the Christian, by way of knocking him around. In the scuffle, the tracts litter the floor. The bully claims them as his property. In the atmosphere of his room, unknown to everyone else, he eventually reads them.

In the morning, it is discovered that sleep has eluded him, for the reason that he cannot stop thinking of what he has read. He then approaches the Christian with his fears and questions.
To cut short the story, it ends as salvation stories always end — with a wonderful and happy change beyond description. The bully takes the Saviour by faith, becomes a bully no more, and is to the school thereafter a good example and a testimony of God’s power to transform from the inside out.

I read all this. Strangely, miraculously, the story became my own. I saw myself in the bully, desperately sinful and indeed justly deserving the terrible wrath of God as my punishment forever.
But I read of the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. That, taking my place on the cross, He took the judgement, the punishment of sin in my place, and so, by believing in Him, I could have my sins forgiven.
That was enough for me. So simple — so powerful. So clear — so strong.
“The Lord Jesus died” — like so many others, I had only stopped there.
“The Lord Jesus died for me.” Was something I realised personally that day.
That was all I needed. To express the happiness of this realisation, to express to the Lord thanks and gratitude, to express that I wanted Him as my Saviour for all the He was — was something beyond me, and will be something beyond any being to express both now and in the world to come.
I just had to kneel down there and then, and pray with imperfect words of my own, “Lord Jesus, please come into my heart as Saviour.”

Ah! It will take more than the pen of an angel to describe the happiness and relief flooding my soul when I had said those words.
The sunlight shining through the window was nothing in comparison to the Divine radiance that was now pouring down from above.
What joy! What peace! Settled forever by a Saviour whose strength would never falter or fail!
If I could tell what I felt at that moment, if I could tell what the Saviour was to me, “if I could only tell Him as I know Him,” like the hymn says — dear friend, “I am sure that you would make Him yours today!”

Since then, the road has been long and hard, painful, even, at times, but the one thing that I can always lean on, and the one place I can always go back to, is the knowledge that I’m held by a Saviour whose love and power is so strong, that it will never fade until the day He returns to this earth to take me home to be with Him in eternity.

______ End