It was the spring of 1969. I was a student at Wheaton College. I was falling in love with Jani. But I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I pursue her further? Should I back off? What was God’s will?
One afternoon I went back to my room in Fischer Hall, got out my Bible — the Bible in the photo above — and opened it up to get guidance from God. I wanted this to be real. So I thought, “I’ll turn to the most remote, ‘irrelevant’ book in the Bible. Then whatever God says, I’ll know it’s from him.” I started flipping the pages toward Leviticus. Half-way there, I thought, “No, there’s an even weirder book than that — Ecclesiastes.” So I turned to Ecclesiastes and started reading from the beginning. At chapter 11, verse 9, I knew I’d found God’s word to me:
“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” And I could see that “judgment” did not mean condemnation but evaluation, because chapter 12, verse 14, says that “God will bring every deed into judgment, . . . whether good or evil.”
God had spoken. “Ray, you like her, don’t you? Go for it! But know this. I will hold you responsible for how you treat her. She belongs to me, not you.” Now, 43 years later, our romance is better than ever.
I wouldn’t recommend this approach to discerning the will of God for your life. God just had mercy on me. I am thankful. Immensely thankful.