"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Exceptions for spiritual toddlers

     The next prayer I remember praying was that my parents wouldn't follow through with their divorce. But they did.
     I knew I needed to know God better. Mary Stewart, who had taken my hand and put it into Christ's, urged me to attend Bible School. I didn't want to leave Japan but she asked me whether, if her alma mater accepted me, I would be willing to go back to the States. Thinking it unlikely, I told her yes. (I realize now Multnomah School of the Bible would not have turned down someone their recent graduate Mary had led to Christ and referred to them.) So in February I applied to Bible college.
     While waiting, I continued gobbling down God's love book and telling other people about Him. I knew very few Bible verses and even fewer of their "addresses" but whenever--I am not making this up--whenever I needed a particular verse, I'd open the King James Bible a friend had given me and there it was. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God? Boom, Romans chapter 3, verse 23.
     God so loved the world he gave his only son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life? Boom, John 3:16.
     He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities? Boom, Isaiah 53:5.
     And my favorite, Fear not, little flock for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (I had to stop and look up the reference just now!) Boom, Luke 12:32.
     I didn't realize that wasn't normal until the day in April when I received my acceptance letter from Multnomah. That day I was telling a friend about Jesus and I opened the Bible to find a certain verse to substantiate a point I was making.
     As usual I had no idea exactly how the verse read or whether it was in the Old or New Testament. I was puzzled when I couldn't find it. I looked and looked and looked, finally had to give up. The special exception God had made for me as a baby Christian was over for good. I realized its purpose had ceased, that now I had to start at the beginning as with knowledge of anything else and learn the Bible.

Today I am thankful for whoever taught me to read.

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