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Girlfriends in God - Mar. 10, 2008

  • 2008 Mar 10
  • COMMENTS

 

 

March 10, 2008

A Changed Life

Sharon Jaynes

 

 

Today’s Truth

”They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11 NIV)

 

Friend to Friend

I have so many stories of how prayer has changed men’s lives, but I have chosen to tell you about a man named Allan. Allan was raised by a single mother with five other siblings in eastern North Carolina. His own father died when he was five-years-old, and his country mother had the daunting task of raising her six children during the final years of the Great Depression.

 

As a young man, Allan worked at a small town lumber company driving a delivery truck. He graduated from High School at seventeen, became a soldier in the Korean War at eighteen, became a husband at nineteen, and became a father at twenty. Over the next thirty years, Allan moved from driving a delivery truck to managing a prosperous building supply company. He and his wife, Louise, had another child when he was twenty-five and then another when he was twenty-eight.

 

Financially, life was moving along quite well for Allan and Louise, however, there was a secret in their household that very few knew. Allan had a severe drinking problem. He didn’t drink everyday, but when he did, the alcohol consumed him and transformed him into a vicious man. Most of the time, his violent outbursts were aimed at his wife. Unfortunately, his children watched in terror as he broke furniture into pieces, hit their mother with his fist, and cut the family to pieces with harsh and cruel words.

 

But something amazing happened as Allan approached forty. His fourteen-year-old daughter befriended a woman in her neighborhood who introduced her to Jesus Christ. His teenage daughter fell in love with Jesus. He wasn’t quite sure what to think about her new found faith. “Oh, it’s a phase,” he told her. “I’m sure it will pass. Just don’t go overboard.”

 

Louise became intrigued with her daughter’s new found faith but had a difficult time trusting in a God who had allowed such heartache in her own life. Their daughter began to pray for both parents to come to know Christ as their Savior and after two years, it seemed her mom’s cold heart was beginning to melt.

 

God did answer the young girl’s prayer and her mom accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. This is where I want to bring you dear friends. Yes, God intervened in a young girl’s life. Yes, He saved her mother as well. But could God get hold of Allan’s heart? A drinker, carouser, womanizer, gambler, just to name a few of his more colorful attributes? Could God do that?

 

Louise and her daughter began to pray that God would soften Allan’s hardened heart. For years, they prayed and little by little, they witnessed God chisel away at his tough exterior. “I’ll stop drinkin’,” Allan said one night, “but I cannot become a Christian. I’ve done some terrible things in my life and I don’t think God could ever forgive me. I could never be good enough.”

 

“Oh, daddy,” the young girl replied. “God will forgive you just as soon as you ask. Besides, we can never be good enough. If we could, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die for our sins on the cross.”

 

As God began to soften Allan’s heart, he did indeed stop drinking – cold turkey. That in itself was a miracle. But a volcano of anger always seemed to rumble just below the surface, and Louise never knew when that anger would erupt and spew the lava of hatred and bitterness in their lives. She continued to pray for her husband and believed God for a miracle.

 

Three years after Louise had given her life to the Lord and begun her journey of praying for her husband, Allan experienced a symphony of twists and turns that only God could have orchestrated. Buckling under the pressure, Allan was heading towards a nervous breakdown and total loss of control.

 

Now God had him just where he wanted him. He hit rock bottom and the only place to go was to reach up. He met a pastor who was building his church in the woods. He had a hammer in his hand and Jesus in his heart.

“I need you to pray for me,” Allan explained with tears running down his weathered face.

 

So for several hours, Allan sat on a log with a fellow builder and told him all he had ever done. Amazingly, the very things Allan had felt God could never forgive him of, this pastor had done as well. Therefore, after five years of a young girl’s prayers for her daddy and three years of a wife’s prayers for her husband, Allan knelt in the woods and asked God to forgive him of all his sins, and received Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. That day, Allan became a new creation in Christ – and it all began with prayer.

 

Later he explained. “I told that man all I had ever done and he said he had done the same things. I figured that if God could forgive him, and even let him be a preacher, then he could forgive me too.”

 

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

 

For me, this is a sweet story. It is a miraculous memory. Allan was my daddy.

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, help me never forget all that you have done in my life and those around me. And for those in my family that do not know you as Savior and Lord, I continue to pray for them and believe. This is the most important prayer I can pray…a prayer that those I love will come to saving faith.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

 

Now it’s Your Turn

Is there someone in your family that you need to be praying for or have you given up?

 

Make a list today of those family members that have not accepted Jesus Christ and commit to pray for them until they come to saving faith.

 

Write a note to the person that prayed for you!

 

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion was taken from Your Scars are Beautiful to God. It is an abbreviated version of what happened in Sharon’s family. Her dad came to Jesus that day when a man was not ashamed to show his scars, but revealed all that he had done and all that God had brought him through. Could it be that God is calling you not to be ashamed of your scars but to use them for good? If so, you might want to read Your Scars are Beautiful to God to begin your journey of turning what the devil meant for evil into what God can use for good.

 

 

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Matthews, NC 28106

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