GOD'S AMAZING GRACE
By Synthia Esther
June, 23, 2009
Every Saturday afternoon Wesley Alverez and his ten year old brown eyed daughter, Mary Beth, would go to the Fairhill's adult care nursing facility to hold weekly church services. They would arrive early to help set up, making sure there was plenty of aisle room for those who would attend in wheelchairs. Mary Beth described the service, "After singing a few gospel songs Daddy tells his sermon. Then we take prayer requests, and pray for everyone and their friends and family." Mary Beth laughs as she confides,"Everyone seems to enjoy the services, even though a few drift off to sleep. Sometimes we hand out a bible tract that tells about heaven, hell, and God's love before we say our good-byes. Which is when Mrs. Elda Simon almost always asks, 'You'll be coming back next Saturday too, won't ya?' Daddy always tells her, 'Why yes Mrs. Simon... we will be back next Saturday too!'"
One particular Saturday the weather was very cold and dreary, with pouring down rain. Mary Beth dressed warmly, putting on her rain coat, announcing, "I am ready to go when you are Daddy?" Her father explained, "Because of the weather Mary Beth, we can't go this Saturday. It's just too dangerous. The morning news report said the weather authority has issued a snow storm warning with the possiblity of roads icing over. I'm sorry sweetheart, but I am going to have to cancell the service."
MARY BETH THOUGHT, "WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO HEAR ABOUT JESUS AND HIS LOVE?"
Mary Beth's heart sank as she looked outside the pane glass window of her bedroom. The rain had stopped, but the wind chill had increased. Tree branchs swaying in the wind served to affirm her father's words. Mary Beth thought, "What about the people who need to hear about Jesus and His love? What would happen if someone died in the storm nevering knowing God's salvation plan was meant for them? She suddenly had an idea, "I know we can't stay and hold a church service today. But could you please take me to the nursing home so I can pass out a tract to everyone in their rooms? Don't they need to know about heaven and God's grace before the storm comes?" Mary Beth's eyes squint in pensive thought as she continues to question her father, "Daddy, can't God calm the storm until we get back home, safe and sound?"
Wesley hesitated and pondered his daughter's questions. The simple faith of a child pierced his heart. He also knew, according to the weather report, the storm was not to hit their area till later in the day. Wesley reponded with confidence, "Yes, God can do anything MaryBeth. With God all things are possible if you only believe." Mary Beth proclaimed, "I believe Daddy, I believe! Can we go?"
Wesley prayed a silent prayer of protection concerning his daughter's plan, and off they went to Fairhill nursing facilty. While there they passed out 44 tracts titled "Amazing Grace," leaving three on the bed pillows of residents who were in the hospital. The father and daughter team then returned home, safe and sound before the storm raged on. That night they said a prayer for all those whose hands came upon their tracts. That their hearts would be quickened by the power of the Holy Spirit of God.
The snow storm lasted three days. Many people were left without electricity or running water. Latter in the week Wesley received a telephone call that brought Mary Beth's heart felt mission in clear view. The caller explained, "Hello, Is this Wesley Alverez?"
"Yes, this is Wesley, what can I do for you?"
"Wesley, my name is Herald. You don't know me, but I got your telephone number off of the back of a tract on my mother's bed pillow at the Fairhill's nursing facility. My mother was in the hospital for influenza and passed away in her sleep last Saturday night."
"I am sorry to hear that Herald."
Herald confides, "Mother was doing better early Saturday morning. We talked... she seemed very alert and responsive. Her facial color was good, and the hospital staff said she would be fine, for me to just go home and get some rest. So I did. Then at 3 AM in the moring they called and told me mother had died in her sleep. The last thing she and I talked about was you and Mary Beth. She told me about your church service every Saturday afternoon, and how she learned of Jesus Christ and His salvation plan through your teaching. She mentioned Mary Beth praying with her repeating the sinner's pray. Mother said she had been praying for me that I might accept Jesus Christ as my Savior too."
"Praise God, that is a blessing to know Herald. Your mother was ready to meet Jesus, and is in heaven now."
"Yes it is a blessing to be sure. After the hospital called me that night, I was in deep remorse. I began to think about what mother had told me. She said that Jesus Christ gave His life on Calvary's cross to save a sinner like me. She mentioned the song * 'Amazing Grace' that you and Mary Beth sang each Saturday. The next few days were busy planning mother's funeral. Afterwards, I went to clean out her things at Fairhill and found your tract laying on her bed pillow. I followed the instructions on the tract and repeated the sinners pray. Now I know Jesus Christ as my Father too, and will one day see my precious mother again in heaven. This may sound unbelieveable Wesley, but I think mother planned the whole thing. She truly believed God would reach down and touch my heart in a very special way. I have made some really bad choices in my life, even serving time in prison for theft."
Wesley replies with positive assurance, "Your mother was praying and believing God for a miracle. And from what you are telling me, it sounds like her prays were answered."
Herald states in a puzzling manner, "The age old saying, 'inquiring minds way to know' leads me to ask my next question. The nurses at Fairhill said you and Mary Beth came last Saturday morning dispite the wretched storm on its way, just to pass out these tracts, Did my mother get word to you to leave this tract on her bed pillow? Because even the title of the tract, 'Amazing Grace' is exactly what she conveyed in her last words to me."
Wesley relates, "No, she didn't. But Mary Beth felt impressed within her heart to not miss a Saturday of service at Fairhill, even if it meant we only had time to pass out salvation tracts. She picked out those tracts herself. Honestly, because of the storm, I didn't think we should go. But Mary Beth's faith in God uschered me onward. Now I know why.'"
Herald asked inquisitively, "I don't know much about Jesus yet, other than the verses in the bible I looked up listed on this tract. But if all this is true, that would mean Jesus is a very personal God. Am I correct in saying so?"
Wesley confirmed, "Yes, no doubt about it, our Father Jesus Christ is a "very personal" God. No matter what our past may have been, nothing can seperate us from His love. It would not matter if you were still in that prison cell Herald, Jesus Christ meets you right where you are. Just the whisper of His name ushers in His mighty hand of providence. He heard your mother's prayers and answered every one. And He will do the same for you! Please tell me, what was your mother's name so I can let Mary Beth know of this praise report."
"Mrs. Elda Simon is my mother. Do you remember her?"
A broad smile beamed across Wesley's face as he proclaimed, "Your mother, after each Saturday service would always ask Mary Beth and I, 'You'll be coming back next Saturday too, won't ya?' Sounds like God has shown His hand on our every move, as His ordained plan. That's how great and grand our personal God is."
"Wow...God used a child's tender heart of faith for His Holy plan. All to save a wretch like me?"
Wesley's states with confidence, "We are all born in sin, all wretched to the core. But praise be to God, though our sins be like scarlet, they shall be washed white as snow. All because we are covered by the blood of the lamb of sacrifice, Jesus Christ! Sin brings death, but the gift of God is eteranl life in Christ Jesus our Lord. His redeeming love truly is an amazing grace."
* Amazing Grace - By John Newton
* "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." - John 3:16-17
* But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. - Ephesians 2:4
* For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:8-10
* Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. - Isaiah 1:18
* Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him." - Romans 4:7-8
* For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - 6:25
* This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of attonement, through faith in His blood. - Romans 3:22-25
* For information on how you can accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please visit our salvation resource page by clicking the hyperlink: "A Free Gift!"
Copyright - 2009-2010, Synthia Esther. All Rights Reserved.