Today’s Bloganuary question: What is the most memorable gift you’ve received?
Back when I was twenty-one, married and a mom, I was living the life of a good Christian, relatively speaking. We attended church faithfully, I taught pre-school Sunday school, we attended Bible study classes, I was part of a prayer cell, even handed out Bibles in our town.
Then one day someone gave me a pamphlet to read that made me stop and think. I got the impression that something I was allowing myself was wrong. Initially, I wasn’t so much troubled, brushed it aside as someone’s take on the scripture. I studied the verses several times looking for loopholes. Some kind of exemption for the day I was living in. Couldn’t really find one, but still… Surely God didn’t expect, in this day and age…or would He?
One day, several months later, it seems the Lord laid His hand on me –much like a parent would — and said, “This is enough.” It came clear to me that I was doing something that displeased him. I dithered over this all day and discussed it with several people, not finding peace. That evening I decided I just couldn’t give this up. I actually told God, “If this is what You’re asking of me, I won’t be your child anymore.”
For about five minutes I had a feeling of drifting in darkness, without a lifeline. Feeling the depth of my separation from God, thinking of a dismal life apart from His love and guidance. Finally I decided nothing in this world is worth that. I asked the Lord to forgive my stubbornness and told him I’d do whatever He asked, no matter what. I’d give this thing up if that’s what He wanted, if only He’d make me his child again. And He did just that. I knew I was accepted again. I received the most wonderful gift in my life: I was flooded with an indescribable peace and joy.
It was truly the gift that keeps on giving. That same peace has carried me through many things since. In Psalm 23 David says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me….” I’ve walked through that valley several times in my life, faced breast cancer in 1980 and leukemia in 2012. He’s gone with me through the valley, comforting me, assuring me that He’ll be there no matter what the future holds. There’s no greater gift than the peace of God.