Welcome to Songs of Salvation! Each Sunday I will feature a Christian author sharing a "Song of Salvation" to uplift and encourage believers and glorify God.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Revelation 12:11 NLT
Authors, find out how to share your Song of Salvation here.
by LoRee Peery
In His sovereignty, the Lord chose 1975 as the year to gain my attention. My father was murdered in April. My parents lived in the old Lutheran parsonage, and after the funeral, I looked out the kitchen window toward the cemetery. A rainbow arched over Daddy’s grave. Right then I recognized God’s presence. The timing was perfect, as though God spoke directly to me. “I promise to take care of you. Everything will be all right. Trust Me.”
Six months later, I again needed God’s reassurance. The day before Thanksgiving, my husband Bill fell from the roof of our dream home. He crushed both heels as though they were cracked, hard-boiled eggshells. During the three days we waited for the swelling to go down, and the hours he was in surgery, I read from a New Testament paperback that I picked up from the hospital. I don’t remember what I read, but it was the only reading material that kept my attention and gave me comfort.
I was familiar with Bible because I grew up attending a Lutheran church, and had memorized many verses preparing for confirmation. I never doubted that God created the world. I knew I was a sinner, and God sent His Son to take my sins to the cross with Him. I had the mind-set that because I was a baptized Lutheran, I was saved. I never understood there was a personal application for what I had learned in church and Sunday school. I had the idea that when it was my time to die, I’d have a few seconds to seek forgiveness. My bad would be wiped away, and I’d go to heaven. After all, I’d never robbed a bank or killed anyone.
That winter while Bill’s feel healed, I thought I should be happy, but I experienced discontent. An emptiness way deep inside haunted me. I missed my father and couldn’t believe his killer hadn’t been found. I felt rotten and guilty because I found no joy in my husband or children. The dream home we were building with our own hands was heading toward completion. Everything I pursued was exciting and new at first—but proved temporary. I had an unfulfilled longing for I-knew-not-what, and admitted depression.
I found what I was looking for April 20, 1976. A friend invited me to attend a luncheon. The music, style show, food, and company were enjoyable, but I remember one thing. The Lord talked directly to my heart, through that speaker whose name I’ve forgotten. I made a decision that changed my life. Listening to her testimony I recognized sin for what it is—something I had inherited at birth, for which only Jesus Christ is the cure. She quoted Revelation 3:20. I pictured Jesus standing at my heart’s door. Right there with all those women in the room, my heart screamed, “Jesus is the answer for all this emptiness.” I realized that starting with my dad’s death, and up to that moment in time, Jesus had been calling me to acknowledge my need for Him. I confessed my sin, my helplessness without Him, and committed my life to Him.
The sense of peace that washed through me came with the infusion of the Holy Spirit. The weight I’d been carrying lifted off my shoulders. From that day forward, I saw the need for a personal application of the Bible verses I had learned and would continue to learn. Another six months passed before I told Bill what happened. He’d seen the change. Before long, I was in weekly Bible studies and soon led them. In February, 1978, we switched to a Bible teaching church. I was like a sponge, soaking in biblical messages, and plugged into many ministries.
Adversity over the years has brought me the greatest times of growth. When I’m struggling, I’m in the Word more than at any other time. It seems the more I know Him and realize His grace, the more inadequate I feel, the more I need to get out of the way and let Him work His will in my life. I especially love the book of Psalms. Chapter 139 is like having a conversation with God. He assures me that He’s got it, no matter what. God tells me through His Word that I’m not alone, I have victory over spending eternity in hell, and nothing is too big for Him to handle.
I can look back over the years of my youth and see how He protected me, as though I was indeed set apart. My father’s homicide remains one of Nebraska’s unsolved mysteries. My mother died of acute alcoholism three years after Dad was killed. I’ve gone through years that were filled with one crisis after another. I’ve lived with the chronic pain of fibromyalgia and spinal osteoarthritis. I’ve had two back surgeries, but nothing to complain about. I’m blessed with a loving husband, a blended family of five children, twelve grandchildren, plus a great-granddaughter.
My desire as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is for others to see Him in my life. My desire for my loved ones is that they all come to believing faith so we can spend eternity together.
God promises He’ll keep me going. Whenever I see a rainbow, I’m reminded He has never betrayed his covenant with Israel, and He’ll never remove His presence from my life.
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and he has become my salvation,