Growing up in middle class America, the oldest of five, in a God fearing home, I felt I was doing my best to gain heaven. As a child, I learned from mom that praying to God daily was important, and I did so religiously. It was strange that at around fifteen years old I began sensing that something was missing in my life. Worse yet, there were things in my life that I knew were wrong. Sadly, there was nothing I could do about them to make them right. Looking back, I can clearly see God graciously guided my thoughts to awaken me to my sinful nature.
Throughout a successful high school career I continued to struggle. These thoughts about God and my soul concerned me daily and many nights I would remain awake praying and trying to find peace. In desperation, on my own, I began to silently repeat a phrase “God in heaven is the absolute greatest.” I would repeat this saying hundreds of times daily, hoping somehow this would bring peace to my soul. But this left me in more turmoil than ever.
Finally, I decided my saying these words was useless to make me right with God. About that time, while high school drew to a close, I came across a friend I had known for several years. Andy was on his way to heaven. Clearly, God was lovingly drawing me closer to hearing the news that would settle my soul’s concern. In September 1984, I began to ride with three young men who, despite growing up in the same town, were quite different than I was. I sensed in them a calmness that I longed to know. I observed the oldest brother, who was in medical school, reading a Psalm daily. The sense of fear about college and life in general did not seem to affect them as it did me.
Around Christmas time an unusual thought interrupted my daily prayer. “God, this is supposed to be the time of year about Your Son and I don’t know anything about Him.” Approximately six weeks later, I was riding home alone with Dave. A pleasant conversation about daily activities revealed he had been at a Bible study at lunch. I told him I wanted to know more about God and the Bible. He asked me what I thought God required for a person to get into heaven. I paused and helplessly answered “Be good and do good to others.” Before he commented, I knew my answer was wrong. If that was what gained heaven, I should already have received peace with God because I had tried to follow the golden rule. Within minutes, for the first time in eighteen years of life, I was listening to words of life, hearing that God’s way to heaven was through His Son’s death on the cross. Finally, after years of turmoil, I had heard the truth.
Suddenly, I was overjoyed to know peace with God was available through the Lord Jesus Christ’s death. But immediately, doubts came. If this was true why hadn’t I heard this from loving parents? Was this only Dave’s religion? Or worse, was this a cult? Two simple but powerfully clear chapters of God’s word – Romans three and John 3 – convinced me that this was the truth. Romans 3 reminded me of what I painfully knew, that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. John 3: 36 assured me of life through the Son or wrath if I turned away from this truth. I always knew the Bible was God’s Word, so this was truth. Three weeks after first hearing the gospel, I met with Dave again. Reviewing the truth, we read, prayed, and discussed Scriptures. I was shocked when he said that was all and there was nothing more he could do for me.
Late that evening, grasping for peace, I began pouring over John 3. Nothing came to me. I knew the truth but I did not have peace. I was lost. I knew now, that God could save others, but I thought I didn’t know enough. How could He save me? Sitting on the edge of my bed, I simply confessed to God that I was lost and needed Christ. At that instant, “that’s it” or “It is finished!” flooded my soul. I had His own Word that my sins were gone. He died for me. “My sin not in part but the whole is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more “was true for Scott Yaekle. For the first time in my life, at 2:00 am. on Feb. 20, 1985, I went to sleep having and enjoying true peace with God that lasts forever.