But this day was different. I had a beloved Sunday School teacher who was very sick with cancer. It seemed like she had been sick for a long time. I feel sad that I don’t remember specific moments with her, only that I truly loved her and knew that she loved me. She was special and she made me feel special too. On this day, May 8th, 1988, it was a Sunday and it was Mother’s Day… and it was the day my perfect little life came crashing to a halt: I heard my Sunday School teacher, Sybil MacDonald, had died.
It was a solemn afternoon for me… I was sad. I knew what death was… unlike many kids, I had attended funerals from my earliest days… my grandfather died from cancer in 1987, and that heartbreaking sadness is still very vivid to this day. I knew death was real.
I had the whole afternoon to think…. to think about how much I would miss Sybil…. and to think about what death means. Death is a solemn wake up call – even for an eight year old.
That night was gospel meeting – an hour long service focused on sharing, from the Bible, God’s good news of how one can know for sure they will be in Heaven… how you can know for sure your sins are forgiven and you are ready to meet your maker – the Holy and Righteous God.
The first speaker was nearing the end of his message, which I don’t remember. Suddenly he was pointing down at “me” and he said – “If you died right now, right where you are, where would your soul be?”
Whoa. Talk about being STOPPED. There was no question – I knew where I would be. I didn’t struggle with the truth that I was a sinner in need of a Saviour. I thought, “I would be in hell…… but I don’t want to go to hell!” Immediately it came to me, “But I don’t HAVE to go to Hell because that’s why Jesus died. He died for me!” Almost in a run-on sentence in my mind, the verse came: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31) And that was it. 🙂 I had the assurance of God’s Word pointing me to the Saviour – with the faith of a simple eight year old, I accepted that Jesus died for me. He was punished for MY sins so that I would be free…forgiven…and accepted by God.
In those few seconds, I went from a little sinner on my way to hell, to a little girl thanking God that I would now be in Heaven if I died right then, right where I was sitting. Do you know where you would be if you died right now, right where you are sitting??
Yesterday I asked my mom (or brother) to find a picture of my Sunday School teacher, Sybil. I wanted one for myself, but also to share here with my simple story of God’s amazing grace. She is the lady to the far right. 🙂 What is cool about this picture is that four of my five Sunday School teachers are ALL in this shot! Sybil MacDonald, Joyce (MacKearney) MacKenzie , Sheila MacLeod and my father.
I can hardly believe it has been 22 years. I am SO thankful God searched me out as a little child… I am so thankful for His love and His great forgiveness… and for His Son, the Lord Jesus, who came to this earth to live and to die on a cross to bear the punishment for my sins… and your sin.
God desires every person to be saved from their sins – will you trust Him?