And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opening and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. (Mark 1:10 ESV)
In the late 1940‚Äôs as a young boy barely thirteen years old, I decided to go out on my own and seek my place in the world. Since I really did not have anywhere to go and all the time to get there, I was open for suggestions.
As I wandered around the country I met two adorable old widow women who invited me to live with them for awhile. This was a great opportunity for me since it included three squares a day and a soft bed to sleep in.
These old women immediately started mothering me and decided that I needed a bicycle to get around. Having a bicycle in those days was great transportation since a lot of folks in East Texas in the late 1940‚Äôs still didn‚Äôt have a car.
I remember on one warm sleepy Sunday afternoon with nothing better to do‚Ä¶I decided to ride my bike down the red clay road behind our house. As I rode down the road I came to a little wooden bridge that crossed over a small creek.
The pastor of the local Baptist church was baptizing some new converts in the creek. I got off my bike and leaned over the railing of the bridge so I could watch the service. Since I did not go to church, that was the first time I had ever seen anyone baptized. When the first person went down into the water and came up, everyone on the shore started clapping and laughing.
I started crying because I saw something in the spirit realm that I knew they must not be able to see. It was almost as if Heaven opened up and the Spirit of God was appearing. As I leaned across the wood railing that day the fear of the Lord came on me even though I was not yet a Christian.
It‚Äôs been many years since that day at the bridge, but I shall never forget the glory of that moment. I was aware that no one else had seen what I had seen or experienced what I experienced.
One day, almost sixty years later I decided to drive back to that little East Texas town just for old times sake. There was nothing left of the little town except a few scattered houses. The house where I lived with the two widow women had been torn down and nothing remained except an open lot and a couple of the big oak trees.. Even though the old house was now gone and no one even remembered it being there, it still remains a cherished memory in my own heart to this day.
I then decided to drive down the red clay road to the wooden bridge where I saw the baptismal service. I stopped my car on the bridge and looked, but the baptismal hole had long been filled up with debris and dirt. Over the years the creek had even rerouted.
I suppose the thing I learned that day while parked on the little wooden bridge was that life and experiences can never be repeated. Sometimes there is a little sadness in that but there is also a great lesson in it as well. We must enjoy every moment we live and store those pleasures in our memory for posterity.
Thank you for giving us a memory bank to store the blessings and experiences of life in order to share them with future generations. Father, you told Joshua to build a memorial to remind his future generations how you had made a way for them where there seem to be no way.
(Joshua 4:6) ‚Ä¶ that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’
(Joshua 4:7) then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD so the people could pass over‚Ä¶.. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
Father—I pray my life will be a living memorial for others.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries