Brian Shive

Because God Let Me Know

The day was Sunday, June 10, 1979. I was 12 years old. We were in our regular morning service at Southside Missionary Baptist Church. Elder Marvin Emberton was our pastor then. We were having, or I should say, they were having, a good service. At some point while all this was going on, I came to the realization that I was missing something. I had been to the altar once before, but I didn’t have a true conviction then. That had been about a year or so earlier.
Like many other 12-year old boys, I was in little league. I had a game starting at noon on this particular Sunday. As far as Sunday games went, Mom’s rules were, “Church first, then the game!” During the preaching, that didn’t matter much. I had realized I was lost and needed to be saved. As I quietly sat in my seat, I began to pray. Nothing out loud, just from the heart. While I was praying, Marvin finished preaching, and the service changed to song and handshakes. I don’t really know what they were doing–I was too busy working on what I needed to take care of.
As I prayed, I wanted to be saved, but I wanted to hold on to Mom, Dad and my bike that I really liked a lot. I soon found out I would have to give up on keeping my bike. Before God would save me, I eventually gave up everything I could for Him, including life itself. I also promised I would do everything I could for him, including preach His word, if that’s what it would take.
Well, at that point, this great feeling of lightness rushed over me. I was sure I had just gotten saved, but then came the question: “How do you know that’s what just happened?” Quickly, the Lord made me to remember something I had heard Elder Hugh Hudson, a former pastor, say in one of his sermons: “When God saves you, the first thing the devil will do is try to make you doubt it.” Now I was sure! The devil was aksing the question, and my answer was, “Because God let me know.”
For the las couple of years, Sister Nana Russell had been a thorn in my side. (I’m sorry Nana…I have to tell it like it was.) It seemed like every service, she would come to me crying and asking if I was lost. I couldn’t stand her. But now, all of that changed. She was the sweetest person I could see. God gave me a sweet love for her and I’ve been blessed to share many precious moments with her through the years.
I’d always heard of the burden being rolled away. As a young boy, the only thing I could think of to compare this great feeling of my burden of sins being rolled away was that it was like I was under one of those huge, round hay bales and God just rolled it off me.
For some unknown reason, I turned and looked at the clock. It was 12:0. I was late for my game, but who cared? I sat there for 40 minutes and promised God I would tell everyone when service was over. I don’t know why I did it that way, but I did. So, at 20 minutes past one, after dismissal, Mom came rushing toward me saying, “Hurry up, so we can get to your game.” I told her I had something to tell her, and took her by the hand and went to Brother Marvin. Right there is when Mom began shouting. People going out the doors were soon coming back in to see what was happening. I joined the church that morning and was baptized in Fall Creek on the east side of town the following Sunday. I have never regretted, nor been ashamed of, being a member of Southside. She is, and I suppose always will be, home!