Jon B.

Jon B.

from KS
Story #198
My great-grandfather drowned in the Missouri River when my grandfather was six years old. My father had many memories of going into town to bring my grandfather home from the bar. My father never went to church as a child and did not believe in God. After starting college, He would describe himself as atheistic evolutionist.

But through college and veterinary school he started to ponder over two questions. Is there a God and what is life all about? These questions continued to bother him through the beginning of his marriage, serving two years in the military, and as he started his veterinary practice in Yankton SD. On many occasions, he would wake in the middle of the night, plagued by the same questions that had followed him since 1949.

Things began to change as my father listened to a young pastor in a small rural church that my mother had attended as a young girl. Through the pastor’s teaching and late-night sessions on his knees, searching through my mother’s Bible for answers, my father came to believe there was a God and that God had sent His Son to restore a relationship with Him and give my father eternal life in Heaven.

This all happened two years before I was born, so by an amazing act of God’s grace, I grew up with parents who talked to me about the love of Jesus. But even though God loved me, the Bible is very clear that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It says there is no one righteous, no not one. So as a young boy I was separated from God just as much as the worst sinner in the world. So just as my father had done years earlier, I confessed my sins and asked Jesus to come into my heart to be my Lord and Savior, at that point I became a child of God.

There was a time in my life where I thought it was time to publicly declare my faith in Jesus Christ. I wanted to express in front of others that this was not just my parents’ faith, but that the God of creation had sent His Son to die for me personally. He took my sins upon the cross, He took the punishment I deserved, He suffered a terrible death and was buried in a tomb, He rose from the dead, and He defeated sin and death. Because of this I was clean and forgiven in God’s eyes.

Once I became a Christian, I began to grow as I spent time reading the Bible and talking (praying) with God. As a young man out of a college, I had the opportunity to join a Memorize the Word class. We memorized 72 versus that year and I felt that God really began to grow me up and change me as His word became part of my life. When the class was over, the class leader introduced me to another man and we continued to study and be accountable to one another for the next 3 years. I was able to take what I learned and help other men do the same thing.

Being a Christian has not always been easy. There have been tough times and times I did not understand, but God has shown me that He is faithful and can be trusted. One of my favorite verses is found in the Gospel of John and states “I (Jesus) have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.”

If I was to try and sum up all that I have learned over the last bunch of years it would be that God has not created me to be an independent person, but to be dependent on Him for all things. He loves me and wants a relationship with me. Hard to believe, but He has made it very clear. He cares deeply about a little kid from South Dakota. - Jon Buckman