Just as I am…

In today’s devotional, My Most Wanted, the suggestion was to write down everything you could remember about the moment you received Jesus.

This took me back to church camp, 1978. I was twelve years old and looked much older, so I hung out with the older kids at camp. One night, as we gathered for vespers (prayer), we had a witness speaker. I don’t remember his story, only that he was in a wheel chair and that his story moved me very deeply. As I sat on the top row of the wooden bleachers that surrounded the “bowl”, I began to feel a tug in my heart. As the pastor stood and gave the altar call, several kids began moving down the steps to give their lives to Christ. Several of the counselors began singing Just As I Am.

Just about the time I was ready to stand, one of the older kids started telling about when she accepted Christ, several years before. Then another and another told their story. I froze in my seat. All the kids sitting with me had already accepted Christ. What would they think of me if I stood up and went down front? They’d know that I hadn’t been saved. Would they still like me? Would they want to hang out with me? Or would they think that I was a baby, too young to be cool. And so…I sat. I was embarrassed and ashamed.

By the time vespers were over, I was so wracked with guilt that I could hardly breathe. As we made our ways to our cabins and to our bunks for bed, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I lay in my bunk, tossing and turning, trying to escape the feelings that were plaguing me. Finally, unable to fall asleep, I got up and quietly snuck out of my cabin. It was somewhere in the early morning and the moon was shining so brightly, it was easy to see where I was going. But even in the dark, I think I would have found my way back to that vesper bowl.

I went down the steps to the first row and sat down, staring at once had been a roaring fire. I bowed my head and cried. How could I have let the opportunity pass me by? Would God still want me after I put others above him? After I ignored his plea to come to him?

I don’t know how long I sat there. But when I felt a hand on my shoulder, I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was one of the male counselors. He didn’t ask me why I was there or what I was doing out of my cabin in the middle of the night. He just sat down and waited. Before long, I had poured the whole story out.

When I had finished, he told me the story of Peter betraying Christ. I knew that story and so as he told it, I felt worse and worse about myself. Until he told me that even though Peter had betrayed Christ, he knew he could go to him for forgiveness. That, not only did Christ forgive him, but that Christ had chosen Peter as the foundation of his church and not even Peter’s act of betrayal changed that.

We knelt down in that dirt and he asked me to talk to God, just like I had talked to him. This was a strange concept for me, but I did it anyway. I cried and he cried, but I got through my story and asked God to forgive me. He then asked me if I wanted to ask God into my heart. I said yes. And he led me to Christ.

I later asked him what he was doing up in the middle of the night. He told me that he woke up suddenly with a sense of urgency. He got out of bed and headed straight for the vesper bowl, never guessing that anyone else was there. He said he was surprised to see me sitting there and then he realized that God had sent him there for me. Camp had pretty strict rules, understandably, about same sex counseling only. He said he thought briefly about going to get one of the female counselors, but knew immediately that God wanted him to talk to me.

I think of him often and pray that God has continued to use him as he did that night. I thank God that he was obedient when God called him and put any aside any concerns to help me.

Hebrews 7:25 says, Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Do you remember when you gave your life to Christ? If so, write it down and thank God for those people who helped lead you to that point in your life. If you have never received Christ as your Lord and Savior, I’d love to talk to you and tell you more of my story. I’m not perfect; but Christ didn’t come to save the perfect. He came to earth and died on the cross to save the lost, the lonely, the tired, the poor, the broken, those lost in sin. In other words, he died for all of us…he died for you. If he is calling you today, don’t turn away. Just answer, here I am, and ask him into your heart.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  -Romans 5:8

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

3 thoughts on “Just as I am…

  1. Beautiful story!!!

    Like

  2. Wonderful story and wonderfully told. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  3. Great post and what a great story!

    Like

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