Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
I’ve been trying to think of a really cool title for this post, but this is all that comes to mind. Every year when April 1st rolls around I always get a little nostalgic and I look back to something that the LORD did on that date. I thought I’d write about it today.
First, I need to explain a little of my background. I grew up never seeing a Bible nor even knowing what it was about. I went to church and was “religious.” I knew there was a God and I believed in Jesus Christ, but never knew how to apply that knowledge to my life. But, strangely enough, from when I was a small child, I had this consciousness that there was a God and somehow we should please and serve Him.
Fast forward to 1970. I was 23 years old and started college in Colorado in September. I met a Christian guy the first day of Freshman orientation and over time we became friends. We spent a lot of times sitting in the Navajo Truck Stop three miles out of town late into the evening. John would talk about God, Jesus and the Bible, and I listened without grasping much.
I used to think I had been searching for God for many years but now I know better. Ephesians 1:4 says,”…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.” While I thought, I was searching for God, the truth was He was pulling me toward Him.
So, with that background, let me get back to the story. It was March of 1971 and I found myself in Belle Plain, Kansas. I was helping my college roommate go home and spent some time with his family. One day, I was in a small drug store looking at a spinning book rack. You know, the ones that you stood still and the rack could be spun around. It was filled with cheap dollar books. As I was looking, a book caught my eye. It was called Peace with God by Billy Graham. I knew who he was, but never heard him preach. We weren’t supposed to listen to people like him in my church. The book was cheaply printed and on the outside cover was a Bible verse: You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). Knowing nothing about theology, I decided that verse was for me. That is what I felt I had been doing for most of my life. I bought the book. I didn’t have time to read it but that verse kept coming up in my mind.
After a week in Kansas, I took off in my car for the 9-hour drive back to Colorado and school. Strangely, I had this thought as I was driving back that something was going to happen to me when I got back to school and it was going to involve me and God. I couldn’t explain it nor could I shake it all the way back. It was the weirdest thing to me.
I arrived at school in the early evening and went into my dorm room. As I was sitting around I heard a knock on my door. It was my friend John who had come down to invite me to a “Navigators” (Christian college group) meeting on Thursday. I told him I would come and wondered if this had something to do with my thoughts in the car.
Thursday night rolled around and I went to the meeting. I was invited to come a little early and meet with some of the Christians for prayer. I felt a bit anxious about that but I was also curious. Curiosity won out and I found myself in a room with the Christian students. They started praying and all I could say was I was mesmerized. They were just talking with God as though He was in the room with them. I had never prayed like that before except maybe once when I asked God to reveal Himself to me so I could know Him. That was six years before.
During the meeting, a student named Rich who was a little older than most of us was invited to speak. I can’t remember anything he said but I know I listened. After he was finished and the meeting ended, I went up to Rich and asked him if we could talk. He said of course and we sat down. I told him about my life and he listened. Finally, at one point Rich said, “Jesus Christ is the answer to all your problems.” There was more to it than that, but I can’t remember what. I just remember those words, “Jesus Christ is the answer to all your problems.” I told Rich I truly wanted Him in my life and he explained the Gospel to me. That night, April 1, 1971, I became a son of God! Over time, God led me through many things both good and bad. I bought my first Bible and started to read it. I sought to grow in Him and have continued to do that despite all my failures and sin.
So, there you have it. You now know why April 1, 1971 is so important to me and etched in my memory. God set my life on a new course that night. And through the struggles, failures and victories, He has always been with me.
But why am I telling you all this? I would like to end with a few thoughts. First, salvation is a miracle of God. We can’t save ourselves nor can any person save us. We must not take it lightly. Second, salvation is also just the beginning, not the end. We should never look at it as a “ticket to Heaven,” as I have heard, and go about living lives our way. We must remember that we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) and that price was the blood of Jesus Christ. Finally, we need to live before Christ with our lives totally surrendered to Him. Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” We spend so much time trying to figure out what God is doing or where He is in our lives. The truth is that unless we become as a little child, we cannot enter the Kingdom. God is so above us that our finite minds cannot fully comprehend Him. Let us trust Him and humble ourselves to Him. He is always with us and will not let us down. Happy April Fool’s Day, a little early.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot.