Acts 16:31 NIV—
“They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—
you and your household.’”
“They replied, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved,
and your entire household.’"
“Anger Gone—New Life Begins”
This week’s Salvation Story picks up with another nephew, the older brother of Matt, whom you read about last month. Though this too began with a crisis, it was a far cry from last month’s, nevertheless, Tommy’s story may be something you and your family can relate to more easily.
As I said last week, the history of my sister’s family was very much like what we each have had to deal with. My sister’s husband cheated on her, but instead of turning to the Lord (as we were so blessed to be led to do), she sadly confronted her husband. And to no surprise, he refused to choose my sister over the OW, so in anger, rooted in deep hurt, my sister packed up her children just three weeks after she’d given birth to her fourth.
Without a Heavenly Father (to the fatherless) her boys turned to drugs when they became teens. Soon after Matt got off drugs, so did the oldest, Tommy, who used being a chef to find acceptance and recognition.
It was years later after I heard that his wedding was called off, just one week prior, when my sister called crying. She said she was to blame for Tommy’s anger issues, and what caused this engagement to fall short of marriage. It had happened twice before. His anger had frightened off his fiancés, leaving my sister to believe that he’d never marry and have a family of his own.
Listening with a compassionate ear, I was also asking the Lord in my head and heart what He wanted me to say to her. Without really thinking about what I was saying, I assured her that this was a GOOD thing because this heartbreak would lead Tommy to realize he too needed a Savior to heal his hurts—and once his hurts were healed—the anger would also be gone.
I’m not really sure about all the details, but I believe it was Tommy’s sister, who asked him to go to church with them (my niece’s family) while he was visiting. Tommy may have been resistant to becoming a Christian in the past because his hero was his brother-in-law, who was/is a Navy Seal. And who still hasn’t come to realize his need for a savior himself. Not yet 😉
Nevertheless, there is no one who can escape salvation once the Savior calls. So God knew what it would take to get his attention and prepare his heart to reach out to Him. “He removed lover and friend”, making “him loathsome” to yet another beautiful fiancé who abandoned Tommy just a week before walking down the aisle.
The morning he went to church with his sister, I heard my nephew ran to the altar and spent several hours later with the pastor confessing a litany of faults he pleaded with God to fix. When I heard the Good News I was more than elated—I also just knew that God had someone better, just waiting for him to marry and told my sister so.
It took less than a year for Tommy to meet his bride at a Bible study! Gone was the angry man, and in place of the angry man was a calm, introspective broken man who didn’t act out when hurt. A year and a half after they married, I saw the picture of Tommy holding his adorable son who looked just like him as a baby!! I have to say there are many men who appear happy to be a father, but this picture of Tommy holding his son was the epitome of a man who knew he was a blessed man!!
I’m sure Tommy and his mom and the rest of his family never thought he’d be blessed with a really beautiful wife and also adorable son when he was so much older— past when most young men marry. Yet it’s never too late for the Lord to move. As a matter of fact, we know that waiting and coming too late is often a way to draw more attention to God’s ability to do the IMPOSSIBLE.
So if you have family members who you believe are unreachable or it’s been said it’s simply too late for them— just wait and believe!! God has a perfect plan, set for an appointed time. So, stop and take just a minute to write down what you have confidence He’s going to do, date it, and also attach some Bible Promises to it.
Then simply give God time to work—knowing it may appear He’s too late—when in fact, He’s just allowing for the situation to get dark enough to allow His miracle to shine a light on the impossible becoming reality!!
Update: Recently I saw pictures of Tommy and his growing family. Not only was he blessed with a beautiful wife and an adorable son—but they welcomed a blue-eyed baby girl who looks just like I remember Tommy when he was a baby. Such a wonderful beautiful family.