Today, I want to give you a snippet of why I am convinced of the reality of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. My faith is built on my belief that God hears and answers prayer. Psalm 66:5 states, “Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!” Let me tell you of one instance that still holds me in awe today.
I was alone in Madrid, Spain, walking down the Grand Via after midnight. The person who was to take me back to my hotel simply stopped the bus and pointed the way to my hotel. As a woman alone and unable to speak the language, I was just too shy to actually stop someone on the street for help. So, I started wandering in the dark streets of downtown Madrid. Finally, as I started to imagine all sorts of possible scenarios for how the night could end, none of them good, I simply stopped walking and refused to panic.
I did not know if God would actually answer my prayer, but my faith was such that I prayed anyway. I said to God, “In Joshua 1:9, You told Joshua to be strong and of a good courage, to neither be discouraged nor dismayed, for You were with him wherever he went. I believe that same promise belongs to me. You know where the hotel is and I don’t. Please help me.”
I stood still and suddenly I heard someone say, “Turn 180 degrees!” I did, and I saw a light shining about 3 blocks away. I started walking toward the light, and I found my hotel just a block and half from the store where the light was coming from. The miracle was that I am near-sighted, and I can barely see a block away, much less three blocks! As I settled into my bed, I was in such awe that the One who created the world and who took the hands of the children of Israel and led them out of slavery in Egypt had actually heard me and led me to my hotel.
I was baptized at nine years old, but, admittedly, I did not fully understand what faith was. But, I knew that God and Jesus Christ were real, even though I could not see them or touch them, and I could not have told you why I believed so deeply that I was never alone. I always believed in my heart and spirit that there was someone actually listening when I prayed. Over the years, God has rescued me in dire circumstances, such as dispatching angels to keep me from breaking my neck when I landed on the hood of a car after being hit by someone I thought loved me.
Because of His miraculous acts, I am on about my third or fourth life, alive when I could be only bones in a forgotten grave. So faith for me is the unexplainable trust I have that God watches over those who fear him, leading us and guiding us. As I said in the last post, sometimes I have thought I knew better than Him what I needed, and, as the inevitable suffering came, I knew that He took no pleasure in seeing me experience what He had tried to prevent.
Instead, God, like all good parents, simply stood by me, helping me get through the difficult moments of my life, never making me feel stupid or unloved. When I asked for His forgiveness, he sent me peace and comfort, never leaving me alone. And now my testimony is like the psalmist in Psalm 66: 16-20, “Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.”
I have a big faith, mainly because I serve a BIG God, who loves us so much that He sent His Son into the world to take on our sins and give us eternal life. I take every promise in the Bible seriously. When I study my Bible, I ask God to let the words be written on the tables of my heart, so that I can remember them in times of need, so that I might not sin against Him, and so that I never forget His unchanging love for us flawed humans. There is peace and comfort at this time of the year in just remembering the ultimate gift of the season: The gift of a Savior, that little boy and Son promised in Isaiah 9:6. To God be the Glory!