Jamie Smid - Dunkerton, IA

Jamie Smid - Dunkerton, IA

I wasn't born into a family of wealth, fame or royalty but instead I was born into something I consider far better.  I was born into a Christian home where I grew up with loving parents that put Christ first in our family.  My parents read the Bible and prayed daily with us children growing up.  However, this did not make me fit for God's heaven.   I knew more about the Bible at the age of 9 then some people do at age 30, yet I knew that if I died I would not be in God's heaven.

All the verses I knew by heart and all the Bible stories I had heard and read were not going to take me to heaven.  But what a privilege I had to be reminded daily that if I never knew my sins forgiven, I would never be in heaven. I had the opportunity to sit in many gospel meetings and hear over and over what the Lord Jesus Christ had done for me.  Although this didn't save me I thank God that I was ever given such a great privilege.

When I was 8 years old I remember seeing my Grandpa in a casket and for the first time in my life death was made real to me.  How final it was and if I didn't get saved I would never see my Grandpa again.  I remember people talking about the last words my Grandpa spoke, "Thank God for Salvation!"  But I couldn't say that. 

In November of 1983 I was sitting in a Sunday night Gospel meeting when it was announced that Joe Clarkquist was coming for meetings starting Tuesday night.  I remember how upset I was because I knew I would have to attend each of these meetings.  I looked over at my Dad who had a smile on his face and seemed to be pleased that we were going to have some meetings.  I remember thinking, "what if these meetings are coming to West Union for a reason?"  "Well," I thought, "I'm going to get this matter settled this week so I no longer have to worry about it."

A week later I was sitting in the final night of the week of meetings that Mr. Clarkquist was having when the thought struck me that I had made a promise to get this matter settled this week and it never even crossed my mind.  I was scared, I thought I might have missed my chance to be saved.  Then Mr. Clarkquist announced that he would go on two more nights of next week.  I remember thinking that God is giving me another chance. 

So the next week I gave it everything I had.  If there was anything I could do, I was going to do it.  I tried to remember every verse I could while I was at school and went over them in my mind.  Nothing happened.  I tried to believe.  Nothing.  I didn't seem any different then before.  Finally, sitting in the final night of the meetings I gave up.  I thought maybe I had really missed my chance.  There was nothing I could do to save myself.  But then the thought came to me that Christ did die for sinners.  Well I knew I was a sinner so that HAD to mean me.  So that would mean if Christ was here in person He would say that I died for you, Jamie.  I realized something I never had before.  That Christ died for me personally and without His death on the cross I would have no hope of ever seeing heaven. I came to know something that night that is as real today as it was then.  Something I never had before, peace with God knowing my sins were laid on the Lord Jesus Christ and because of His death I go free.