I was looking for wisdom. I started to buy these books on the NY Times Best Sellers list, the non-fiction type. I was reading these books trying to find wisdom, and I couldn’t find any. I remembered hearing about this King Solomon, “the wisest man ever.“ (I thought King Solomon was just a historical figure.) I decided I should read what He wrote, if I was going to be wise.
So I read the book of Proverbs all the way through. At the end of reading it, I came to the conclusion that King Solomon was not the wisest man in the world, but the one who wrote that Bible was the wisest man in the world! I made it my purpose to read the whole thing, from Genesis to Revelation.
People started noticing a change in me that I didn’t notice in myself; a co-worker told me I sounded different. I began to realize the Bible had changed some of my life, but I still wasn’t a Christian.
After an assignment with the Small Business Administration that took me to flood-ravaged Grundy, West Virginia, I came home with lungs ravaged by the dirt and debris I’d been inhaling. I had such a difficult time breathing, my wife Shirley suggested I meet with the neighbor lady who prays. Turns out it wasn’t my physical ailments God was most concerned with.
She started praying for me, and for the first time in my life, I heard someone praying in tongues. After she finished praying, she told me that God loves me. She said a lot of other things…
but the only thing I heard was God loves me.
All of a sudden I could see all my sins— all of it showed right before my eyes! I kept saying to God, “You can’t love me. You can’t love me.” I started crying, “Lord, you can’t love me!” I cried and I cried.
When I left her house, I knew I would be a Christian for the rest of my life. When I went home, I began tearing things down. I took my whiskey out of the cabinet and poured it down the drain. I took pictures off the wall and records off the shelf I thought were not pleasing to the Lord and threw them in the trash.
And that’s the story of how I got saved. It started because I was lost and I wanted wisdom. I couldn’t find it any other place.
Tommy Christmas is a retired pastor in Richmond, Virginia. He has many incredible life stories to share from growing up in the remarkable civil rights era of America’s 1950s and 1960s. He currently serves in pastoral care all around greater RVA. Want to chat with Tommy over the good old-fashioned telephone? Send us an email and we’ll have him contact you!