What God Can Do!
by Jim Petry
(NOTE: This wonderful testimony of God’s grace in the life of Jim Petry was first published in 1990.)
I feel that the Lord would have me to write my testimony down that maybe in some way it might cause someone to see more clearly what God can do for a wretched man.
I appreciate and love the Lord with all my heart because He has worked it in me. The Word says “He that is forgiven much, loveth much.”
The Lord always prepares the way for His people, (His sheep). I was somewhat of a successful man with a wife of 21 years. We had worked hard all of our lives, saved our money and had made some wise investments. All was going well. We wanted to leave South Florida because it was getting so crowded, so we bought a 60 acre piece of land Suwannee County. We built a small house and then we kept busy building fences and raising cows and hay. We always worked Sunday the same as any other day. We didn’t know the Lord nor did we consider Him in all that we did.
A preacher came to see us one Sunday afternoon and after that he was persistent in that he came every Sunday afternoon to talk with us as we worked on the fences, etc. We finally began to be enticed to go to the small country Baptist church to see what it was all about. We began to attend every Sunday for several weeks when my wife decided that she wanted to return to Scotland for a visit. Her mother had died shortly before her decision.
During the month and a half that she was gone I attended the church every Sunday and most Wednesday evenings. I began to hear what Christ had done for me and about salvation. They, of course, had the ABC method or formula to come to the Lord. However, I believe there was a moving of the Spirit there for a time, and some anointing upon the preacher.
When my wife returned and I picked her up at the airport, I hardly recognized her! She looked different some way. After a couple of days she told me at the breakfast table that she had fallen in love and in bed with her first cousin and wanted to return to Scotland to live. It really hit me pretty hard. She left the house and went over to Live Oak to visit with her father for the day. I went out to repair a part of the fence that I had torn with the tractor. While I was out there I fell down in the field and cried and cried. Then I (with the help of the enemy) went to the house to get a gun and kill myself. When I reached the house, I started across the living room when a small still voice in my mind said, “What about Jesus?” Then I fell down on my knees before the bed and cried out and said, “Dear Jesus, I have heard that you love me and that you died for me and if you can make use of my life, I freely give it, for it’s no more use to me.”
For some reason I began to sob and call out all the terrible sins I had done in my life; sin after sin, many I had forgotten about came out loud and clear. They were terrible!! Finally I emptied out and then I felt as if I was lifted up; I felt so light. It was as if I had been carrying a great bag of heavy sin on my back for years and had never known it. I was so light I felt as if I was floating a little above the floor as I walked. He had touched me! Things didn’t look the same to me after that. I did go through a long period of depression. I had a great lump in my throat for a long time and my heart felt like it had a giant hole in it. Later, I saw that my heart was like a burned out house all black inside with all the windows broken out. Then Jesus came in and cleaned it up and put sparkling windows back in it. There was a glow of light and life inside when He was finished.
How precious the Lord is! I began to really get involved with the church there and went through stages of works and legalism with a lot of side tracks. After a while the Lord caused things to happen to show me what was really in those people who seemed to be so sweet. They were really wolves inside. The church split. Skip Bierman and I came out along with a few others and we met at home for a while. Next we rented a store front and met there for nine months until there was no more light; no water. The preacher told us he had given us all he knew and that he believed that the Lord would have him move on. So we began to look for a place where we might find the Lord.
One Sunday as I was preparing to attend another Baptist country church, Skip called me and asked me to take him to Ramona Park Church. We had already been to a sing there (some friends had recommended it) and so I said “Oh yes! I remember the beautiful singing.” When we got there I knew in my heart that I was ‘home.’
I had been receiving the Midnight Cry Messenger but didn’t know that it had anything to do with Ramona Park Church for I had written to Southern Pines, North Carolina for it. I can see the Lord in all these things and as I looked back over my life, I realized the Lord had helped me and blessed me for years even from the womb and I never knew it! Brethren, I know it now!!!
It is so wonderful to find Christ in a people and see them worshiping God with all their heart, all their mind, and all their strength! A people set free! It is wonderful to find Christ come again in the flesh. There’s a unity of spirit and a willingness to pass under the rod of authority that we might stay on the right path. There’s a willingness to be led; to know what it’s really like to ‘love one another.’ You learn to understand what it really means to wash your brother’s feet and to have yours washed. You learn to receive correction and walk in the light of it. How wonderful it is to speak face to face with Jesus the Christ in his servant and in our brothers and sisters.
I appreciate the one with the beautiful feet that walks and talks in our midst bearing the Master’s voice. I appreciate especially the Mighty Living God, the Eternal One who holds us under His wings. The One who works out all things for good to them who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Thank you Lord.
Your undeserving Brother-in-Christ,
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