As a little boy I remember singing a Sunday School chorus with the words, "Hear Christ calling ‘Come unto Me’ and I will give you rest". From my earliest days I was aware that there are no "reruns" of our journey through life. As a teen I memorized verses like Psalm 9:17 "The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God" This made me frightfully aware that I was accountable to the One who created me, and I didn’t want to spend my eternal existence in that awful place!
I thought , however , that I was actually pretty good, especially compared to my class mates at school. I ignored the reality that God saw all those things that I did when no one was looking
University days in London Ontario led to a graduate program in Biochemistry and soon I was immersed in a fascinating cancer research project. I often thought about the "end" of my little life’s journey, while I conducted my experiments. Could one know "for sure" that all is well for eternity? The rest I had sung about in Sunday School was such a foreign thing to me.
I met a fellow researcher at the lab who was a Christian. Her joy at the conversion of a young engineer impressed me. Upon meeting him it was evident that he loved Someone he had never seen! I became thirsty for what he had! Several days later I heard a verse quoted from the Bible: "O taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed (or happy) is the man that trusts in Him". I asked myself that evening: "David, is it possible that you have never tasted?" Tasting is a very personal thing and no one else can taste for me.
My ongoing restlessness and anxiety prompted me to consult my researcher friend and she shared a Scripture with me. "You shall seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart" Jeremiah 29:13. Here was a promise from God to me!
I read my Bible, trying to understand Jesus’ words to Nicodemus in John3:3 "You must be born again". His words told me I had no options if I was ever to be in God’s heaven.
My friend invited me to a Gospel presentation and the preacher spoke on that same Scripture "You shall seek Me and find Me when you seek for Me with all your heart." I knew God was speaking to me. Another Scripture arrested me. It was like a blazing spotlight penetrating the labyrinth of my heart: "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" 1 John 1:5 Everything I had ever done and thought was exposed to His searching eye!
After the presentation, I read Isaiah 55:7 ( a verse I memorized as a teen), "Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord and He will have mercy and to our God for He will abundantly pardon!". Pardon was just what I needed! The next morning I decided I must settle the most important thing in my life! Again the imperative of the Lord "You must be born again" came before me. I left my car at a service center and waited there for repairs to be made. I was desperate. I wanted to be saved more than anything else in the world! I cried to God and discovered that if it depended on me, I would never ever be saved. I knew that moment that I would be in hell and nothing prevented me from going there! I realized however, that Jesus had died at Calvary for sinners and looked to Him in all my hopelessness that very moment. He saved me! I decided to tell the man at the service desk. " Do you know what happened on your property?" I asked. He answered "no". "I just got saved, over there" I replied, as I pointed to the spot. He didn’t seem to understand, but I assured him that I was on my way to heaven!" Even though he probably thought I was going to heaven in my car, I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that my name was written in heaven and that I was saved!
How glad I am even now, for that wonderful encounter with the Son of God that day.
David H. Derksen