Everyone Has a Story
He Heard My Cry
By Steve Rogers
Our family had just finished dinner one evening and was still seated at the table when the phone rang. It was a phone call that would change our lives forever. A hospital in Walla Walla was notifying us that my sister, the oldest of us seven children, was in serious condition. As my mother talked with the hospital personnel, I still remember the horror in the sound of her voice. It was bad news. My sister was sick, very sick. A short time later Carolyn was diagnosed with late stage cancer.
This crisis turned our family upside down in a desperate struggle to save my sister’s life, but to no avail. About a year later, Carolyn lay in a Portland hospital, eaten up with cancer. December 5, 1978, we were notified by the hospital to come quickly, as she wouldn’t last long now. So that cold, icy, December evening, our family climbed into the car and left for Portland. But I was not with them. I just couldn’t face it. Now 16 years-old and full of grief and sadness, I couldn’t bear to see my sister in that condition. And there at home with a broken heart, the Lord came close to me and heard my cry and saw my tears.
As I stood looking out the kitchen window into the dark, I made my covenant with the Lord. From now on my priorities would change and He would be first in my life. I was really going to give Christianity my honest effort. Losing my sister spoiled my appetite for this world and I was now going to live my life for eternity.
God truly did make something beautiful grow out of all that pain. In place of sorrow and hopelessness, the Lord gave me joy and purpose, and the assurance of eternal life. And what happened to me can happen to anyone. It doesn’t have to come through tragedy and pain. That’s not what changed me, but rather what I did as a result of the crisis. All I did was re-evaluate my priorities. To do so, I had to clean house, so-to-speak. There were certain things that were strangling my spiritual life to death. Things like too much TV. With my new priorities I made time each day for serious prayer and Bible study and through this discipline the Lord filled my heart with happiness as I came close to Him.
The Bible calls David a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). And if you desire to come close to the heart of God and experience Him, all you need to do is to make the same covenant with the Lord that King David made, who said: “I will not neglect your word” (Psalms 119:16). Or that of Job who said: “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12). This is how I found the Lord back then, and this is where you can still find Him today.
Steve Rogers writes from Spokane, WA. Used by permission Kelso-Longview Church. All rights reserved © 2012 StoryHarvest.org. Click here for content usage information.