I grew faint and stumbled into the house and found myself praying to God…not for my life on earth, but for my afterlife.
I grew up in a religious family and went to church, Bible studies, and prayer meetings multiple times a week. We had family devotions and were hospitable to many as we were involved in Christian ministry.
I could quote many Bible verses and knew all the answers to the questions my Sunday school teacher asked. But, did I somehow miss something? I remember as a child praying “the prayer” multiple times just in case I might have said it in a dream and then maybe it wouldn’t count. Did it? Why was I afraid to die? I thought I was a Christian. My parents are Christians so wouldn’t I also be one? Is it possible that I only knew it in my head that Jesus provided the way for me to get to heaven but I never believed it for myself?
The winters in Northern Japan often dumped huge amounts of snow which created opportunities for unusual after school actives for me. It was during one of these winters that I found myself building an “igloo” in front of our house. I used a long, sharp “bolo” knife to carve out a hole in a large mound of snow that I had packed together. The igloo ended up big enough for several people.
I was called in for dinner so it was time for a break. I decided to use the snow as a sheaf and slammed the knife into the snow, but the tip of the blade hit a rock and my hand slid down the blade. Imagine the contrast of bright red blood on white snow! I really thought I was dying! It was then that I realized I wasn’t sure if I would go to heaven if I died. Memories of all the Biblical teaching I had received from my parents, camp counselors, and Sunday school teachers flooded my mind and I couldn’t imagine spending an eternity separated from God. That day I made sure that I was trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation and today I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will go to heaven when I die.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (I John 5:11-13)