day as I came home from work, my little girl, Janie, was waiting for
me. After greeting me with a pixie smile and a peck on the cheek, she
climbed up on my lap and asked, "Daddy, where is God?" I cringed
at the question. Who had been worrying her with useless questions? I
managed to reply rather sternly,
"Janie, there is no God. He simply doesn't exist. Now, don't get all concerned about old myths and fables. No intelligent person believes in God." She gave me a puzzled look, hopped down from my lap, and went outside. Oh, the tragedy of speaking authoritatively concerning things I knew nothing about.
To this day I don't know whom Janie believed, her father or her friends who told her of God. Janie died just a few months later in a car accident. Extremely bitter and resentful, I never overcame the loss. Janie's death changed everything for me. I could never blot out the memory of those beautiful brown eyes, that haunting smile. I tried to drown her loss in liquor, but drinking only made matters worse. My home life became empty and destitute. Soon my wife and family no longer mattered to me. We experienced separation, then a painful divorce. Once again life had dealt harshly with me.
This time I was left only with work and the pursuit of money. Driven by greed, I labored night and day, thinking only of myself. When business ventures began to fail, I started to worry. Tension built. Those awful headaches were with me constantly, and doctors failed to provide relief. My psychiatrist could not even solve my dilemma. Furious with the world and outraged at the cruelty of life, I was ready when death came. Since mortality had dealt brutally with me, I rejected the treasure of life.
If only I had known then what I know now! Surely God could have changed the course of my life. Oh, God! Why didn't I know? Why didn't you tell me? Surely I would have believed.
After heaven had reviewed my entire life, the innermost recess of my thoughts, the Lord of Hosts spoke. "Is there nothing in his life to indicate that he ever believed?"
The voice of one holding the Book of Life answered, "Nothing, Lord. This man did not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ."
I was sharply aware that on earth I had never believed. Why, I had not once seriously contemplated the existence of God or Jesus Christ. As I stood before the throne of God, I begged His forgiveness. Even though I had never believed on earth, I pleaded for his mercy. Surely God would not deny me this one last chance.
His voice echoed the phrase that the old street preacher had proclaimed. "It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment."
All of my life I could have accepted, but now it was too late. Too late! Just before my sentence was pronounced, I cried out in my defense, "Wait, I never knew! How can You hold me accountable for something I never knew?"