Last night I received a very unexpected phone call from my ex-brother in law of 32 years ago. So here’s the background. My first beautiful wife at the time, my 9 week old son and my other younger brother-in-law were needlessly killed in 1986 when the car I was driving was hit by a drunk driver. My mother-in-law was severely injured. I was 25 at the time.
Both adults who were killed were Christians. My wife’s family were largely non-believers in Christ and so the Christian witness in that family was snuffed out with the exception of my ex-mother in law who died in a second car accident some years later.
Now fast forward to last night and who was on the phone but the brother of my first wife whom I hadn’t spoken to for nearly three decades. He called to let me know that he had become a Christian 3 years ago, was going strong for Jesus and thought I might like to know. It was such a thrill to find this out. Then he told me the story I never knew.
He said that when he was about 14 and his sister was 18, she took him to a youth camp and he felt the power and presence of God in a tangible way which resulted in him making a decision to follow Jesus. However, two years later he was drinking heavily and the drink got the better of him for thirty years or more. By his own acknowledgement he became a functioning alcoholic.
Then some three years ago he decided to quit the drink and a few months later he realised he needed “religion” because that’s where he knew the answer was for his life. He knew God was real because of what had happened when he was 14 years old.
So he dusted off the Bible his sister had given him all those years before. Then, surprise, surprise, he found out his doctor was a Christian and after some time this chap invited him to a men’s meeting for believers. That’s when he decided to make a serious turn toward the Lord.
He has since married for the first time to a strong Christian woman. He’s been off the alcohol and is living a happy, purpose-filled life. That’s what the gospel does to people. Its the GOOD NEWS for a suffering world!
Then I was able to tell him some stories of powerful things God had done for other members of his family all those years ago and who were still not believers.
It was a great conversation where we filled in the gaps on our lives.
It was such a thrill to receive that call as I was only just thinking a few weeks ago that it was so sad that there was no Christian witness left in the family. Now I know God is back tapping on their hearts.