Changed Lives: Bitterness Melted Away

Smitty was pretty bitter toward God and wanted nothing to do with him–much of that caused by the fact that he had a daughter murdered many years ago. But his wife attended an evangelistic crusade and began attending our church. Smitty did not. Over time the church members were friendly to Smitty. They invited him to come to a Sabbath School Class going through various topics in Mark Finley’s “Studying Together” booklet. Smitty asked the tough questions, but allowed the class to struggle to come up with answers. Eventually Smitty accepted Jesus. Some event from his past made him choose not to come to church, but each Sabbath he would be in Sabbath School, asking his questions and becoming very fascinated by the answers. Eventually, in a conversation on the Bible with the head elder one day, Smitty asked, “You mean I have to forgive even that low-down guy that murdered my daughter?” “Yes,” the elder answered. And he did right then and there–he prayed that God would give him forgiveness in his heart for everyone who had wronged him, and especially the person who had murdered his daughter. Then the day came when the doctors diagnosed Smitty with a fast-developing leukemia and said that he only had 90 days to live. We never did get Smitty to sit through a whole church service (but he did come once and give his testimony). Smitty died trusting in Jesus, having forgiven everyone for everything, and knowing that Jesus had also forgiven him. It was a wonderful thing, and we know that we will see Smitty again.

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