On a cold winter's evening in a small village in Europe, a little girl was born. Her parents loved her very much and had her christened into the Lutheran faith. They took her to church at Christmas and Easter, and in her mid teens she attended bible classes and was confirmed. But as she grew up, religious morals didn't suit her. After all, hadn't school taught her that the evolutionary process leaves all things to chance, and that everyone has the right to do as they please? So who was the church to make rules about right or wrong? She explained to her parents that science opposed the existence of absolute standards and decided to find her own way. Her name is Margaret – this is my life...
At age nineteen I met a young man from a far-away country and fell in love. We were married after two short months, and after another two years we left for his home in Australia. The Lutheran church and its ways had been completely discarded. Ten years passed and life was good. At age thirty-one, I had two small children, my husband owned a successful communication business, and I was practicing as a naturopath and clinical hypnotherapist. And then something extraordinary happened. Two lovely ladies from New Tribes Mission came to see me as clients and, being curious, I asked them about their faith. I had turned to New Age concepts and joined the Rosicrucian Order, but I was always interested in the beliefs of others. One of the ladies produced a little black Bible from her handbag and read to me this verse: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." I didn't object to a God of love, although I didn't really understand what that verse meant. But when she continued, saying that no one is righteous because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, I became less agreeable. "Stop right there," I responded, chafing against this accusation. "I’m not a sinner! I’m not a liar or a thief or a murderer – to the contrary, I try to help people and am nice to them!" Jan was wise and did not argue. Instead, she read from Isaiah, Chapter 53:6 that "all of us like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him (meaning Christ) the iniquity (sin) of us all."
Thank God for His faithful servants! The Holy Spirit used this portion of Scripture to convict me of sin. I felt so uncomfortable that I couldn't get rid of these women quickly enough. I tried to forget about the whole thing, but it didn't work. The thoughts about sin kept coming back to mind, and I soon grasped that sin was essentially SELF-WILL and therefore rebellion against God. The more I thought about it, the more I understood that I had a dilemma on my hands: if this God of the Bible was real, He would send me to Hell. So I wondered how I could know whether He really existed. Finally, I asked Him to show me, not knowing what to expect. I neither heard a voice nor did I have an ecstatic experience, but by the end of that evening I could no longer carry my burden. I fell on my knees and cried out to God, shedding tears of shame and tears of sorrow for causing Him so much pain. But there were also tears of joy because I realised that I had been forgiven, my debt was paid, and I was set free to live a new life in God. This is how I was born again and became His child on March 28, 1983.
I had been so blind, but now I could see! And what I saw was a huge mission field, starting with my own family. I eagerly read the Bible, and the Lord took me to a study group where I learned about God’s principles for family life. I decided to put His word to the test and exchanged my feminist ideas for the role of godly wife and mother. I learned to be (more) submissive, to give my husband his rightful place as head of the family, and to treat my children as gifts from God to be nurtured and treasured. This was HARD, but God was faithful and gracious: a year later my husband experienced the new birth, and we were both baptised in a Baptist church. Our children grew more and more excited about this powerful, loving God they were hearing so much about, and I reconsidered my approach to helping people and abandoned all New Age practices, retaining only what was compatible with the Bible.
As the years passed, my husband’s business became too much for us and was sold through very unusual circumstances, which were clearly an answer to prayer. We home-schooled our children and moved to the country, where I continued my practice. The Lord took us through many painful experiences along the way, but despite these trials we can say with certainty that God is good! Our children have grown to be strong in Him, have married in the faith, and are now involved in their own Christian endeavours.
I can certainly testify to the fact that Jesus Christ does all things well! Our favourite Bible verse fits our situation perfectly:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Prov.3:5,6).
I pray that if you have not done so already, you too will turn to Jesus Christ and gain access to eternal life in the presence of TRUE LOVE - our glorious God and Saviour. I look forward to meeting you there!