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My Salvation Story

Vir TODAY

Deur Annalise Wiid

 

When I was small, I used to think that God was part of our family. Like a great-great grandfather or somebody, who went to heaven long before anyone else – long before I was even born. The way my Mom talked about Him made me think so. Not like He was a stranger, but like she knew Him personally.

I would admire a ladybird and Mom would say: “Yes, isn’t that pretty? God made it for little girls to enjoy.” Or if I would deliberately step on an insect: “Hey Jesus made that! Don’t just stomp on it.” It made Him feel very real and very near. And most times quite likable.

When I was eight our Sunday School teacher told us the story of the feeding of the five thousand from John chapter 6. She put special emphasis on the fact that the five small barley loaves and the two small fish was a little boy’s lunch. (By the way, it’s only John who mentions this.) With my vivid imagination and my storyteller’s mind, I pictured the scene: The boy being slightly lost in the enormous crowd…

All he could probably see were knees, knees, and knees – of thousands of grownup men all around him. And all of a sudden a man comes to him and asks for his lunch. The boy wanted to know why. “Because all of these men are hungry and Jesus wants to feed them,” the man ( his name was Andrew) replied. The boy must have thought he was crazy! What good would his little lunch be? There were way too many people!

But there was this man called Jesus. And He told them to make the people sit down. And I imagined that the little boy would have seen Jesus the way I got to know Him: A kind, wonderful man – very likable and trustworthy. So he gave his lunch to Jesus. And was astounded! Because all the grownups ate from his lunchbox until they were full. And the leftovers where more than all the contents of his mother’s whole kitchen cupboard!

I listened, enraptured, to the story… Then the Sunday School teacher said: “You know what? People are still hungry today. Some are hungry for fish and bread. Everybody hungers for love. Now, if you give your life to Jesus, He’ll do a miracle with you as well. He will use you to feed people’s stomachs and their hearts, to bless them. And you yourself will be blessed.”

That was about forty years ago. I remember it as if it was just yesterday. I simply said: “Jesus, take me.” And I walked home from church with a great feeling of contentment, of having done a splendid thing.

It turned out I did. Not that all of my life went smoothly and without any hiccups or tears. On the contrary! At times life had been almost unbearably painful and lonely. But, as a little girl, I put my life in the hands of an utterly loving and trustworthy God. And He cherished every moment of my life up till now.

I had the undiluted joy of attending Bible School in England as preparation for life as a gospel singer. Even before I knew that I would (or could) sing! I just, one day, started writing songs and it felt so natural – as if that was what I was meant to do all my life. And when I sang them, people listened and apparently they were blessed. I started writing stories. Real life stories of people I met and things that happened to me and I tried to tell what I learnt about God through these. People liked it. I became a writer as well as a singer... and eventually a Bible teacher too.

Yes, at times I have been broken like bread and poured out like wine, but that made me more humane, made my faith in God more real, and my need of Him more urgent. It also made me realise that we don’t get saved just once. We are being saved, by the life of Christ, over and over again, day by day by day… Knowing this, makes the love I have to share even sweeter, because I know: The greatest Lover of all ages knows me. Personally. We’re family!