How God took hold of my life – Ron’s story

July 6, 2017

in Fellowship News, Important & Interesting!

Ron Balchin shares his story of how God took hold of his life

When I was asked to write about how I came to faith, my first reaction was, “How long have you got?” I look back over the years and it seems that the Lord has had His hand on me right from early childhood.

It was 1976 when things really started to happen. I was preparing for marriage and Pastor Frank Mortimer let it be known that, “It would be nice if Ron and Hazel attended Rehoboth a few times before they’re married.” We did and I was hooked. There was something ‘real’ here. We continued to attend fairly regularly. I did think about baptism after we had witnessed one but I didn’t understand the significance of it then.

Then disaster. In December 1980, Hazel suddenly died and my life fell apart. I told God exactly what I thought of Him and I didn’t mince my words. I even unwittingly took Job’s wife’s advice: “Curse God and die!” but I thank God that he doesn’t always answer prayers in the way we want! After about two weeks of raging against Him things started to change. I was broken and began asking Him to get me through the situation. However, I couldn’t face going back to church and meeting people and so began my ‘wilderness years’.

I spent nearly five years in an alcoholic/drug induced haze and I later realised, in a state of depression. I thank God for my Christian doctor at the time who got me on to a talking therapy course. God still had to get my attention, however, and it started with me losing my driving licence. One Sunday afternoon after the five mile cycle ride to visit the launderette, I had the overwhelming urge to go to Rehoboth and I turned up and sat in the back with my basket of washing. I was struck by the fact that everyone was kind and there was no judging or condemning. I felt, too, as though I was coming home.

I was shown great kindness with people bringing me to church on a Sunday and having me stay for lunch with them. This made a lasting impression on me as did the way people in the church conducted themselves – I paid close attention to this.
The big ‘moment’ arrived when I was having supper with Dave Fraser, an Australian who attended Rehoboth while he was living in the U.K. “What’s your testimony then Ron?” he asked which rather stunned me to say the least. He didn’t know me that well otherwise he may not have asked the question. After a pause, all I could mumble was something like, “I know Jesus died for my sins.”

That was it then. I got home and pogoed round the kitchen in my excitement and knew I had to do something about it straight away which was to write a letter to Steve P. and tell him what had happened. It makes me think of Romans 10:9-10 because I knew I had to be right with God but I was rather resisting accepting Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Speaking it out tipped me over the edge as it were. I needed a prod from God.

So there you have it. I review how far I have come in the Christian life from time to time and I also see that a lot of things that have happened were a means of bringing me to salvation; even the bad times. I have no intention of going back now and I believe that God will not let me.


July 2017

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