Q: A few years ago I had a bad health scare (a heart attack), and I told God I’d do anything he wanted me to do, if he’d only spare my life. Well, I guess he did, but I admit I haven’t kept my end of the bargain. Is God going to punish me for this? — P.K.
A: In reality you have been punishing yourself, because you have missed out on all the blessings God wanted to give you during these past few years. The Bible says, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love” (Psalm 145:8).
Have you ever asked yourself why God brought you through this crisis? I believe God spared you for at least two reasons. First, he spared you because you were not ready to die and enter eternity. Elsewhere in your letter you admit that you’d never given much thought to God or to Jesus. But Jesus came into the world to purchase your salvation through his death on the cross. By faith ask him to come into your life today.
But I believe God also spared your life because he wants you to serve him. It’s easy once a crisis passes to slip back into our old ways. But God had a reason for keeping you here, and life’s greatest joy comes from serving Christ and walking with him every day. Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24).
Don’t get to the end of your life and realize that you wasted it, but put your life into Christ’s hands today. Then get into a church where Christ is preached and followed, and where you can grow in your faith. God has given you a second chance — don’t waste it!
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or visit BillyGraham.org.