The Preacher

Yahweh appeared of old to me, saying, 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 WEB

"Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood, was shed for me." I remember standing in a Baptist church, a kid about six years old as they sang this hymn. When they did an altar call, several people went forward and I went with them. But they all told told me to go sit back down, because they thought I was too young to be saved. I was not the first child to be turned away by the Lord's followers, though He told them to stop doing that a long time ago (Matthew 19:13).

I so wanted to be saved, but I did not qualify, and I still remember it vividly forty years later. Maybe I was too young for them, but the Lord did not seem to think so because He followed me home that night. He began to work in my life and prepare me for a future that I did not even see. I did not even think that I was saved until many years later. Now looking back, I can see His hand on my life even then.

When I was around twelve years old and surrounded with bad influences, right before school got out for summer, a preacher came to our home one Sunday afternoon. I had worked for his son in the tobacco fields the previous year and he liked me. The preacher had an odd request. He lived on a farm about forty minutes away and wanted me to stay with his family for the summer and help gather his tobacco. Crazy enough, my dad was ok with it, and away I went.

I spent the next two summers with the preacher and his family and worked in the tobacco fields. It was hard work. We would be up every morning before sunrise to pick up the hands, fuel the tractor, gather supplies, then crop tobacco all day, and would be checking the heat in barns at 11 that night. Also where my family never went to church, I was now in church every week.

Over time, the Lord drew my heart to Him. He was never judgmental, accepted me just like I was, and wanted a relationship with me personally. I didn't have to become someone else. He sought me out 'Just as I am.' He set me apart, put the right people in my life, and no matter how many times I fell, He always had a plan for me and would pick me back up.

Today I can tell you that do not have to be accepted by anyone on this earth. You do not have to change to come to the Lord Jesus, though we all change after we meet Him. You do not have to clean yourself up first, if you could, you already would have.

You do not have to change the impossible to begin. You can do it with His help. Talk to the Lord today in prayer like you would a friend. Share your day with Him and ask Him for wisdom when making decisions. I can tell you today that the Lord wants a relationship with you right now, right where you are, whether you are eight or eighty.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I want to know You better. Please stir me up Lord and give me Your zeal. Restore my strength. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me today, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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