More Certain Than “I Hope So”

by ivyjonah


by Linda J. Maynard

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

I was raised in the Faith and yet in so many ways, the teachings I experienced fell short.

I believed in Jesus. CHECK.  I believed in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. CHECK.  I could confidently say, “Yes, I believe in God”. Those 2 little words were very telling, but was I sure about spending eternity with God?  When asked, I confidently answered, “Well, I sure hope so.” But, a little red-headed Southern child changed all of that.

Standing in Linda’s kitchen, her daughter, Emily, piped up in her southern drawl, “Miss Leanda, do you know Jayazus?”

Bristling on the inside,  I wondered what kind of person would ask me such a thing, but mustering the best northern hospitality, I calmly answered, “Why Emily, of course I know all about Jesus.”

After Emily’s bold and personal question, Linda asked,  “Do you go to church?”

Well, I was going to AA meetings at various churches, but the names of them slipped my mind. Trying hard not to sound like I was unchurched,  I said something like “Oh, it’s the white church…yep, that’s right… it’s white and small. First Something or other.”

Linda looked at me, blinked her eyes and said, “Oh.”

Future conversations surrounding God took a gentle pace. Linda invited me to her Bible study several times until I said, “Yes.” Little by little, I became comfortable; like tasting a new food and saying, “That wasn’t so bad.” Later, while attending a  Christian Women’s Breakfast in Linda’s place the  TRUTH exploded in my heart.  The speaker’s testimony rang true in my heart and it was then that I first realized I was a sinner in need of  a Savior and I said “YES” to the Lord.

I “hope so” left my vocabulary that morning and I couldn’t wait to tell Linda.

When I drove into her driveway, she was already waiting on her stoop. The Lord told her that this women’s breakfast was my day and instructed her to stay home for my sake. If she hadn’t stayed home, I would not have attended.

A little girl, a Christian friend, a Bible study and a Christian woman’s testimony all worked together for my good. God opened my eyes and helped me realize that knowing about Jesus is not the same as knowing Him; that knowing Jesus brings real hope and replaces all the I hope so’s.

So today, I will echo Emily’s words and ask, “Do you know Jesus?”

Lord, there are so many who believe You exist, yet do not know You. Let this season be one in which new seeds of hope-filled truth are planted and may we be witness to the resurrection and gathering of New Life.

(To learn more about Linda, please visit our Contributors page).