My journey of faith started early, before I had any inkling of what was going on. My faith in God had little depth. Nevertheless, God was at work bringing me to Him. All I remember is going to church a time or two as a child and coloring something.
As a pre-teen my family did not attend church, except for a couple of times. One time the preacher gave a message about not drinking liquor and the discussion on the way home was that we would not go back there again. That episode was followed a few years later with a message by the pastor about tithing. We didn’t go back again.
My mother died when I was six years old. I moved quite often. At 13, I moved in with a family that once was very active in church. They didn’t attend at that time, but they thought kids ought to go to church. I was counted as one of their kids. So my church experience really started in Eight Mile Baptist Church outside of Mobile, Alabama. I loved church. The teens and adults loved and accepted me. But I had no idea what they were talking about when Jesus was mentioned. I thought the word “Jesus” was a slang or curse word. I didn’t know who He was. I thought maybe He was the man pictured in my stepmother’s billfold. The picture was of the Pope. I had no concept that one man would love me enough to die for me.
People in the church would say, “I want you to be one of us.” O how I wanted that. Then one day after holding onto the back of the pew in front of me with white knuckles, I got enough courage to walk down to the front and accept the church.
I continued to love church, even when I moved, again at the age of 15, in with a different family that went to church. I had a hard time believing all the stories in the Bible. They sounded a lot like the story books I had read as a child. When someone said that the stories really happened, I thought to myself, “You have got to be kidding: a fish swallowing a man, a donkey that talks and animals riding in an ark? This was too wild to believe.”
I attended church while I went to college. I received a degree, double majoring in microbiology and chemistry. Not being grounded in the Scriptures, I became grounded in evolution and science.
To complicate the matter, I later married Ras Robinson, a Christian. Out of college, he took a job with the Southern Baptist Publishing House in Nashville, Tennessee. He was always studying the Bible, not for any particular reason except for his hunger. I wore his ears out peppering him with questions about the authenticity of the Scriptures. I though I was a Christian because I had gone through the whole bit of holding onto the pew until my knuckles turned white and, after all, I walked down the aisle.
But, even while teaching youth in Sunday School, I was always looking for someone who had a science background to “think things through with me.” I could not reconcile science and Christianity. I saw Ras believing with no trouble at all. There was a girl, with whom I taught in Sunday School, who was a physics major in Vanderbilt University. I would get her off to the side and ask her how she knew there was a God. She said, “The same way I know there is an atom. I can see the results and I just believe.” I wasn’t able to do that.
God in His wisdom, and I believe sense of humor, brought me to the point of salvation. While I was looking for someone proficient in science to help me, God brought a slow talking preacher. He gave a simple but logical presentation one Sunday morning during a revival meeting. The preacher held up his black Bible and said, “This is either the truth or the biggest pack of lies ever perpetrated on mankind.” That made perfect sense to me. I had seen a couple of people that I could discern that they really believed, Ras being one of them. So, I decided to believe. Only then did real belief begin to come to me. I walked down the aisle again, with no trouble this time, and that night was baptized in water as a believer in Jesus.
That is the same route of faith I have been on ever since. I have heard preachers say, “It is simple, anyone can believe,” yet I cringe for those who find it hard to believe.
It was that way with me when I prayed to be filled with the Spirit. I have had people ask me, “Was there a second experience?” I say, “Yes, and a third, and a fourth, and many more after that.” God fills us when we are saved, but we leak. It is always the same way. I make the literal choice, and then real belief from the heart soon takes over, when I no longer entertain disbelief. Whether it was when I was healed of a brain tumor, or was delivered from a familial spirit of divorce, or believing for God’s best for my children and grandchildren, the church and ministry, or on and on, ad infinitum.
One of my very favorite Scriptures, one I even have embossed on the front of one of my Bibles, is: Colossians 2:6, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, The same path of faith that you use to come to Christ is the same way you live each day.”
Another Scripture that has come to mean much to me is: Hebrews 4:2, “For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not UNITED by faith in those who heard.”
The word united, mixed or combined, is a very, very strong word here. The word picture is that of strong digestive enzymes being combined with food to supply what the body needs for nourishment. That is the way of faith. God is always giving us something to believe Him for, something to chew on.
The Christian life is not complicated. In fact, the further along I go towards maturing in the walk of faith I find the process to be more childlike in trust, in forgiveness, with a greater peace, fuller joy, and deeper love.
I assume you are already on this journey of faith since you are reading this. If not, I pray right now for you to take the leap of faith, and grow in childlike maturity.
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