I was raised in the church. My parents had my two brothers, my sister and I at church every time the doors were open. I sang in the choir. I attended Vacation Bible School each summer. Church camp was another regular summer routine. I memorized the books of the Bible at a young age. Scripture memorization played a big part in my life, too. Psalm 100, the 23rd Psalm, John - all the usual. As far back as I can remember,
I always wanted to do God's will. I just didn't know what it was! I loved Jesus. I didn't want to ever die and go to hell. But, something just wasn't right. I knew it. I sensed it. I didn't have a clue as to what it was. I would pray and pray and pray, yet I somehow knew my prayers weren't getting past the ceiling. When I was sixteen, I went with my youth group to Gatlinburg on a retreat. During prayer time one night with my small group, I heard a girl say that if you asked Jesus to come into your heart, He would take all your troubles away. Troubles? I had plenty! An alcoholic mother, an abusive father. So I asked Jesus to come into my heart - and I really meant it.
Back at school the next week, everyone saw a difference in me. I was glowing! The glow soon faded, however, when my troubles didn't magically disappear. All I could figure was that God hated me. He did it for others, but not for me. "When, God?" I cried out. I kept crying out for five long years. Then, when I was twenty-one, while studying the Bible, God said "Now!" He opened up the eyes of my understanding. It was as if scales fell from my eyes, the blinders had been removed! Jesus didn't only want to be my Savior, but my Lord as well. I had to totally surrender my heart and life to him. I couldn't hold anything back. I had to remove myself from the throne and let Him take His rightful place on the throne of my heart. It seems so simple, but, until God revealed Himself to me, I just couldn't get it. I am so thankful that He did!
Now I know He hears me when I pray, He loves me with an everlasting love, and He accepts me unconditionally. I also learned that His Word is His will. He puts His Holy Spirit in us to lead us and guide us and teach us. So, no matter what troubles come along, when I surrender them to Him, and trust that He knows best and loves me most, He fulfills the promise in His Word in Romans - For we know that God works all things together for good, for those that love Him, for the called according to His purpose. Life is tough, sure enough, but God is good.
Janet Robinson and her husband, Dennis, live in Mt. Juliet TN. They are parents of eight children and grandparents of eight grandchildren. They attend First Baptist Church Mt. Juliet, where Janet leads the morning ladies' Bible study.