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Testimony Stories: Ruth McDonald

Testimony Stories: Ruth McDonald

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household. (Acts 16:31, ESV)

For the next few days, we will be sharing a few stories of how the Lord rescued and saved someone, beginning with myself. For those of us who’ve had this experience of a lifetime, it’s such a precious moment, which we remember with both gratitude and warmness. It’s also the most eternally impactful! In that moment, the sentence we deserved because of our sin—an eternity forever separated from God and eternal punishment in hell—was removed. How is this even possible? Christ willingly took on human flesh to die on a cross, making peace between mankind and God possible. 

Peace is something we often seek in the wrong places. For me, that was in the security of family. As a youth, being with my parents felt safe and familiar, and the thought of being separated from them caused fear and uncertainty. For others, peace might be sought through material possessions, social status, a relationship, a position of influence, money, or other pursuits. Yet none of that can bring lasting peace! Real peace is impossible without being made right with God. Scripture says that we must come to Him as a little child (pointing us to the simplicity of the gospel message, not necessarily a physical age), and I look back with thankfulness that I came to Him as a young girl of eleven. 

My dear parents, from my earliest days, were consistently faithful in taking us to church and sharing the good news of the gospel with us. I grew up knowing God loved me, and I also knew I was a sinner who needed to be rescued. This bothered me at times and caused me to lie awake at night. As I heard the gospel message preached by capable men, I stumbled over one simple word: believe. While I well knew the story of Jesus and all He did for us at Calvary, I wrestled between knowing and believing. This continued for a few years.

In January 1982, when I was eleven, our church had a series of gospel services. As I heard the messages about our need for Christ and how that need could be filled in a moment of time, I longed for the peace that would come from being made right with God. Going home one wintry night, I remember determining I would not go to bed until I had the peace I longed for. 

Sharing a room with my older sister, I did not have a place for privacy, and so I grabbed my Bible and headed to the bathroom. Opening it up, I found the verse above, and again, I stared at the word believe. As I sat there, Jesus allowed me to understand this simple truth: “believing” was just an invitation to accept what I already knew—that He died on the cross to pay the price for my sin, and by accepting this, I could have the peace I longed for. Nothing was required on my end; I just had to accept that what He did was enough for me. And what He did was enough! Praise God, it was!

I look back at that moment with a thankful heart, but since that day, I can also see the many times Jesus has rescued me, not in the same way as then but in countless other ways. He’s reached in and pulled me from hard places; I’ve wandered and He’s called me back; I’ve been heartbroken and He bound up my wounds. He has kept every promise He’s ever made and has proved His faithfulness when I needed it more than anything else. 

If you don’t know Him in this way, I pray that you’ll long to. We are promised in Scripture that if we ask for His salvation, He will never turn us away (Romans 10:13). It has never been God’s desire that we would live apart from Him. It’s our sin that makes peace with Him impossible, and so we needed Jesus to bridge the gap for us. He has provided everything for our salvation through His Son; Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the way for us to come to God and be accepted. Our prayer today is that the truth of His message will reach the hearts of any who may be searching for lasting peace.

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