1371 words

On the 7th of December, 2008, a moment came when I knew Christ had fixed my heart for Heaven. A moment I know I will never cease to cherish the dearest of all, among the best moments of life I have had my fair share of living, and will ever live. One moment in time is all it was, yet how could it mean all in all to me?

My remembrance of the events surrounding that pivotal moment in my life yet retains the vivid clarity it once had twelve years ago on that day.

It was a Sunday evening like any other, in the most apparent ways at least, it was. The first third of the day having been spent at Church and the second in welcome rest, the evening was a quiet one for the three of us at home. Dad, my big brother, and me, were to leave for the hospital in an hour or so, as our visits there had become a looked-forward-to regularity over the past weeks. Mom had brought our little sister into the world only two days before this one. No doubt, it was an immensely exciting time for each of us who made up our happy, little brood. The sun had long since begun its journey down from its highest perch in the sky, now casting a gentle lengthwise glow through the main windows of our home, and carrying with it a soft wind that worried at the drawn folds of the curtains framing either side every so often. With Dad silently at work in his study, and my brother still asleep upstairs, I found myself seated by the coffee table in our living room, newly rid of any remnant notions of the afternoon’s slumber– just me and my thoughts by our lonesome.
A small blue basket sat atop the coffee table at all times. Its lid never really fitted any way other than lopsidedly as it was stuffed to the brim with a collection of little Gospel tracts we owned– ones that I had perused many times before. It was a Sunday evening like any other.

Having nothing else to do, I took to upturning the basket of tracts onto the floor and occupied myself with reading through its spilled contents for what could very well have been the thirtieth time in my lifetime which really, was not very lengthy at all, being barely past the half-decade mark at the time. The minutes ticked by while I remained there reading for a good measure. Something about those short stories that always ended with a simple moment of realization, of repentance, of rejoicing, and a brief Gospel message in conclusion, made me feel a pleasant kind of way– one that I never got tired of. It was always the same when I returned to the pocket- sized pages of those tracts, read those familiar verses in emboldened text that I
knew by heart, and regarded the hand-drawn pictures that illustrated those stories of the individuals who came to Christ each time. Tract after tract, I took up and put down. Story after story, I knew the beginnings and endings of– a troubled soul living a godless life; a joyful face, one streaked with tears yet wearing the brightest smile, belonging to one whose heart the Savior has entered. It was beautiful, yet it was all the same to me. Until.

Growing up in a Christian household, I count as a tremendous blessing. From my earliest of memories, life had always been centered around God. It meant learning from an early age that a relationship with Him was to be held just as highly as the treasured bond we shared with each other in our little home. It meant learning about God’s brilliant handiwork in Creation and about His unbending holiness too. It meant learning good habits and loving righteous virtues. It meant giving thanks around the dinner table for every meal, praying together by our bedsides at the day’s start and close, and growing to love dearly, many a great Bible story lining up on trusty bookshelves. It meant learning to depend upon a Heavenly Father from day to day. It meant learning about His tender mercies and loving-kindnesses. It meant learning of eternity. And it also meant learning of right and wrong, of Heaven and Hell, of my state as a sinner, of how sin has no place in Heaven, and of how I was heading to Hell. It meant learning of my need to be forgiven, and to be saved. It meant learning that God had made provision for that forgiveness. It meant learning that He had sent His only Son to to be that provision for me, that Savior for me, to take my place, to take my wrong, to make me right, to make me clean. I had learnt all of that, and knew it only too well. I knew how to be saved, and that all it took was my faith and nothing more was required of me. I knew that in each of the stories I read, every single one of those dear people had come to put their faith in the Savior. I knew that Dad, Mom, and my brother had all done so too. I knew I was the only one who had not done the only thing there was to do.

Eternal thanks be to God for that one blessed moment that set this Sunday evening apart from all the rest.

Time had passed on steadily. I had come to the end of yet another beloved tract, its timeworn leaves still clasped tightly in my childish grasp. Before me lay the last image upon the page. It was one of John 3:16, the words I knew so well. written plain and clear. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
In that moment, my heart was finally open. I could no longer let those wonderful words pass before my eyes unclaimed as my own. In that moment, I wanted to have a big, bright smile like the ones I had seen, plastered across my own face. I needed to have the Savior walk right through my heart’s door, and I knew I had to ask Him myself to come in. In that moment, onto my knees I went, just one thing on my mind. I had no reason to delay. Though I wish I could, I cannot recount with certainty what I had said then, word for word, on that unforgettable evening. All I know is that this was the simple plea I had: “Dear God, I am a sinner. I thank Thee for sending Thy Son to die for me. Please save me, right now.” In that moment, a joy like I had never known flooded my soul. A moment of rapture and of thrill. To know that God had loved me immensely. To know that I had been forgiven. To know that Christ was finally my own. To know that my heart was now all brand new. To know, that if Christ were to return that very night, and if my family and friends who had put their trust in Him were to be caught up in the clouds for that glorious reunion, that I would be right there with them too, and with the Savior whom I could call mine.

And in that one silent moment, of pure delight and of overwhelming peace, I knew that I was fixed for Heaven.

Twelve years later, while I pen down these words, life has not been without its dark days since. But life has not been without my Savior either. Though dark as they get, coming back to that moment always makes them that little bit brighter, and the happy days, that little bit more cheerful. Life with the Savior is a journey like no other. Tiresome sometimes, but still, beautiful. Lonesome sometimes, but still, blessed. And if nothing else, this I know– Heaven is my portion, and He is my prize.

Dear friend, I ask, is He yours?

______ End