If That Is Christianity, Then I Am a Christian

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
One bright summer morning a cab drove up to the station just as the great entrance-door closed after the departure of the nine o'clock train.
“You are just two minutes late, Miss," said a porter. "The train did not go on time today, either, as we were delayed for five minutes.”
What a disappointment! Circumstances unforeseen and unavoidable had caused a delay of several minutes beyond the time set for leaving for the railway station; but she went, still hoping that quick driving would make up for lost time.
“Seven minutes past nine," the porter said, glancing at the clock, "and the next train for S. will not go until four.”
With a weary, disappointed feeling in her heart, the young girl threw herself down on a seat near the window of the waiting-room; for the "next train at four o'clock" meant a wait of nearly seven hours there, and afterward a journey of 140 miles by rail. She was going home from school for her holidays. For a moment a rebellious thought arose in her heart, "How tiresome this is! God could have prevented this disappointment if He chose, and I shall never be able to stay here for seven hours." It was but for a moment, however, and then the thought came,
“Perhaps He has something for me to do here for Him." Her heart went up in prayer, and she whispered, "Father, is there anything I am to do for Thee? If there is, show it to me, and give me power. O, give me power to do something for Thee, Lord. I am very foolish, and very feeble, but Thou canst give me wisdom; and if I am to speak of Thee, give me words to say.”
Several people went in and out of the room, but she spoke to none of them. At length a shadow crossed the window, and an old lady entered and took a vacant seat beside her. The lady was in mourning, and looked, O, so sad and weary and careworn.
“This is the one; I must speak to her," the girl thought; "but how shall I begin?
It is so hard to speak to strangers." Her heart beat very quickly, but she moved closer, and ventured a commonplace remark. The lady answered kindly, and so the ice was broken.
“May I ask if you know that your sins are forgiven?" she asked. The old lady looked a little startled at first, and then said,
“O, I pray to God, and hope He will forgive me; but certainly I cannot say that my sins are forgiven.”
“But Jesus died; and He would not have had to die, if our prayers, or anything we could do, could gain us pardon for our sins from God.”
“I am not trusting in anything I can do; but certainly one must pray. I am a sinner, a great sinner, I know; but I know also that God is a very merciful God, and trust that He will hear my prayers and receive me, though I sometimes fear I am too great a sinner.”
“It was for sinners that the Lord Jesus died. We were covered with sin, and could not do one thing to help ourselves, for God says, 'The soul that sinneth, it shall die.' Now death to us for our sins would be eternal banishment from God. But the Lord Jesus was very pitiful; He loved us, and He said, `I will die instead of them;' and He came down and died for us. We owed a great debt to God, and the blessed Lord Jesus undertook to pay it. God is too holy to pass over sin, and death was the only price that He could accept for our ransom, because He had pronounced death to be the penalty for sin, and He cannot lie." In her eagerness she went on,
“Now that the Lord Jesus has fully paid the price that God's justice demanded, God is able righteously to save sinners. The blood of the Lord Jesus was poured out for the vilest, and now God would not be just if He punished a sinner who trusts in Jesus for salvation. There is a little verse of a hymn which says,
`Payment God will not twice demand;
First at my bleeding Surety's hand,
And then again at mine.'
“Will you not believe it? 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life?' John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). And now you have not a single thing to do but just to take God at His word, and believe that He so loved you as to give His beloved Son to die instead of you, and God says you are saved. There is not a tear, not a prayer, to be added to His work, for the Lord Jesus said, 'It is finished.' Will you not take the salvation that God is freely offering you? There is nothing left for you to do but just to trust in Jesus.”
The lady had listened very attentively to every word. Now she looked up, and while tears of joy burst from her eyes and rolled down her furrowed cheeks, she exclaimed,
“If that is Christianity, then I am a Christian." Then as if searching in her memory for something hidden deep down there, she repeated, very softly and very slowly,
"Perish! it cannot be,
Since Jesus shed His blood;
The promise is both rich and free,
And He will make it good.”
She was very glad, and no wonder. She had found the Savior, who had long been seeking her, the One whose pardon she had been craving, while all the time He had been pressing it upon her. Now that her blind eyes were opened, she could look up and see Jesus as her Savior-Jesus, the One whose very presence there at God's right hand, is enough to prove to a poor anxious sinner that God is forever satisfied about his sins. Once God laid the sinner's sins upon His beloved Son, as He hung upon the cross. There He fully atoned for them. Now He is seated in brightest glory at God's right hand-a proof that the sins are forever gone.
A porter entered the waiting-room to say that the old lady's train was about to start. She rose, grasped her young friend's hand and went, tears of joy still welling up in her eyes, leaving behind her in that waiting-room a glad, and thankful and happy heart.
How this incident speaks to us Christians, that no circumstance can cross our path, but what the Lord permits in His wisdom. And we should ask Him to show us what He would have us learn, and do in it. Let us seek to lay hold of opportunities to speak a word for Him, looking to Him for guidance.