This week I share another excerpt from my new book “The Making of a Servant.” It shows the power of the written Word of God to transform life, even without someone explaining it! Several traumatic events led to this life-changing experience on board my ship docked in Yokosuka, Japan. I pick up the story at this point:
“It was late when I arrived at my ship. Due to the war, no lights were allowed anywhere. I made my way to my locker and retrieved a small flashlight. I went to the ship’s ward room and found a New Testament. I made my way to an empty ammunition room under the flight deck. There was no electricity in that room, so I closed the hatch; sat down on the deck; and shining my flashlight on the Gospel of Matthew, I read all of it. I read all of the Gospel of Mark. I read all of Luke. I had an insatiable hunger to learn everything I could possibly learn about Jesus. It was as if I was seeing all of this for the very first time.
When I read the account in the Gospel of Luke about the betrayal of Jesus, His death on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection, I stopped reading. I was overflowing with emotion. Suddenly, I knew why Jesus died on the cross. I knew why God raised Him from the dead. He was taking on Himself my sin and dying on the cross in my place. On the cross, my old life died, and I was being raised with him to a new life. God raised Him from the dead to prove His sacrifice on the cross was accepted for my sin and not for my sin only but for the sin of the whole world.
All I needed to do was trust Him that this news was truth.
At that moment, I realized I was being given a new life. This was what it meant to believe! I could not keep the tears from flowing.
My whole life had been lived in a dense fog, and suddenly the sun had broken through and was shining directly on me. I could start life all over again. Everything I’d heard over the years, the services I’d attended, the songs I’d sung, and the stories I’d heard suddenly became meaningful. The piece of the puzzle I had looked for all my life and could not find fell into place. The loneliness, the troubled heart, the restless soul, all were being healed. I entered a place of total trust in the Lord for my new life.
I continued reading into the early morning hours until I finished the Gospel of John and then began to read the Acts of the Apostles. It was as though my hunger to know more could not be satisfied. I could not stop reading. The silence was broken by the boatswain mate piping reveille. It was time for the ship’s crew to wake up.
I had been up all night.”