1 – Introduction
I am an American, a computer programmer (retired) by profession. I’m not a preacher; I’m a very ordinary Christian. America has many different churches, Christian and non-Christian. No one goes to a particular church “because he is an American”. When my parents changed their residence, we often changed denominations too. I continued this practice when I became an adult, so I have no denominational loyalties.
I have received Jesus as my Lord. From my youth (I turned 65 in 2006.), I’ve studied His Word, the Bible. As I studied it, I determined to make what I read a part of who I am as a human being, to internalize it, if you will. I have also internalized some of the hymns and spiritual songs that have come my way.
I must have been around nine or ten years old when I heard the old hymn “Trust and Obey”1. I said to myself, “I will trust God. I will obey Him.” I had no idea at that time what that decision might mean to me, but I would certainly learn. At another time, I read
in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”2 Again, the admonition to trust God, but also to put His Word ahead of my own reasoning ability. My heart said, “I will.” The last part tells us to acknowledge Him in the broad expanse of our life’s experience, our highways, if you will, and He, for His part, promises to direct our footpaths, our next steps. I made these words the principle by which I would make my plans throughout life.
I once made a trip from upstate New York to California by car. It was a personal journey. When the car needed gas, it was put in our tank. I never paid for it. I was not asked to pay for it. I ate at restaurants along the way, but was never asked to pay for the meals, so I didn’t. The same with the motels where I slept. The entire trip was free. “How”, you may ask, “was I able to pull this off?” Was it chutzpah? Courage? No, it was trust. — I was seven years old and Daddy paid for everything. But, it was Daddy’s decision to move his family to California. As part of that family, I went without questioning. I have learned to relate to my Heavenly Father in much the same way that I, as a child, related to my earthly father. All I have to do is to trust Him and to obey Him. As a pattern of trusting God develops, it becomes easier to do, until it becomes part of the fabric of one’s being. And it makes life one great, grand adventure. Life may be an adventure for you, too, if you will allow your loving Heavenly Father to craft it for you.
One of my heroes is Abraham because he is called “the friend of God”3. Is there anything greater that could be said of any man, that God would regard him as a friend? Yet, how many times do you read in Scripture that he and God personally interacted? I think it’s only about four or five. I have had evidence that He is aware of what is going on in my life. I believe that He is willing to get involved in what is going on with me for His glory and my benefit. Because I am an ordinary, “nothing special” Christian, I believe that what I’ve experienced can be the experience of any other believer. I want to share some true stories with the hope that they might make you hunger for a closer walk with God, an active friendship, if you will. The events of each story could be thought of as a coincidence, but I frankly don’t have enough faith to believe that these things “just happened” from nowhere. It is much easier to see God’s hand in them. And I am more blessed by it. I’d like for you to be blessed, too.
2All quotations of the Bible are from the Authorized or King James Version.
3 II Chronicles 20:7, James 2:23