Behold I stand at the door and knock… (Revelation 3:20)
Man in all the ages past has been trying to seek God in various ways. He has devised methods, and forms of worship, to somehow come nearer to God, but in all his ways he has utterly failed. The Bible says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Prov. 16:25.
Can we by our own human wisdom which is nothing but corrupt in the sight of God find a way to reach the Almighty? “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” 1 Cor. 3:19.
Then again the Bible says, “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Job. 11:7. How can the human mind understand the things of God, unless He himself gives us the revelation? The scripture says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ 1 Cor. 2:14
There is only one way and one meeting place where we can meet God. We can meet Him at the CROSS,- in Christ and Him crucified alone. It is here where God comes into vital contact with man and man with God. Christ by shedding His own precious blood has made peace with God for us. He has reconciled us unto the Father by His death, Our Lord Jesus says, “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the LIFE; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6.
I praise the Lord that He led me through this only living way where at the CROSS, I met my saviour, the Lord Jess.
I was born in a Hindu family and belonged to the Vaishya caste. My mother was an orthodox Hindu, so much so, that she would not even drink water offered by a Christian, and I did the same thing. I lost her when I was about 9 years old.
I had most of my education in Mission schools and colleges. Although I had been to Mission institutions, I must say, I was never bought face face with the LIVING CHRIST. All I understood was that, what Krishna was to me, Jesus Christ was to the Christians. I, however, always liked the solemn atmosphere of a Christian service.
As the years went by, I started experiencing a strange mental unrest. Although I enjoyed the pleasures of this world, still deep down within my heart I knew I was not happy.
As far as my spiritual life was concerned, I used to worship the various Hindu gods int he usual traditional way. But I was sure of one thing, that whatever knowledge I had of my own religion, I did not find peace in it. I could not find anything in it to lean on to hold on to. All around, I saw blind faith, idol worship worship and hypocrisy. I never liked the looks of those priests in the temples. I always felt that they cared more for the money that was being offered to the idols than for the hungry and thirsty souls who came to quench their thirst.
One experience stands out very clearly in my mind. Once, when I was a medical student, along with my father and sister I went to see the famous Hindu temples in Brindavan U.P. We reached at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Upon going to one of the temples, we were told that we could not have the ‘darshan’ of the god as the doors were closed and the god was sleeping. This announcement, though it sounded funny, yet it worked in my heart, and I was led to reason within myself: “What kind of god is this who also goes to sleep? What would happen to this universe if the Creator of the world went to sleep even for a fraction of a second?” However, I did not share this thought with anyone. But this I think was the beginning when doubts came into my mind about my own religion.
Thus life went on. I still went to the temples to worship a living God, but came out as usual, empty, dissatisfied and disillusioned.
I continued on in my sin and corruption, a hungry and miserable soul, groping in the dark, seeking for something, but not knowing what it was. My violent temper was a great stumbling block in my way. And so, like a lost sheep, I struggled on in my own human strength, till I came to a point when I could not continue so any more.
For some time, I had been wanting to go and work on the staff of the Mission hospital at Vellore, purely for my own material gain. I thought I will stand a very good chance of getting a good job after having worked on the staff of such a famous hospital. I also wanted to prepare for my M.D. The lord in a wonderful way opened the way for me to go to Vellore, although at first I was told tgere was no vacancy. I reached Vellore on December 6th 1954. Only later, I realized that it was the mighty hand of God which had brought me there.
When I reached Vellore, I felt like a foreigner in my land, and needless to say, I was very unhappy for the first three months, so much that I did not even unpack my things to return north, but the Lord kept me there.
My mental turmmoil became worse, and in order to escape from my own wretched self, I frequently started going to cinemas also, and I started reading the filthiest novels I could lay my hands on.
During this period, one Australian staff members came to stay in the House Surgeon’s Quarters. The Lord had very clearly shown her that she should stay there and not at the College Hill where the other staff members were staying. She did not know why the Lord was asking her to stay at the House Surgeon’s Quarters. But she obeyed. Her room was close to mine.
In early March, when I was laid down with an attack of tonsilitis, this friend one day came in gave me some tracts to read. She also started praying for me. I said to myself, “I wonder why she is taking so much interest in me”, and then one day in a rude tone I said to her, “Don’t think you can convert me. So do not try to force yourself on me.” What a rude manner of talking! Such was my mental state! But she continued to pray for me along with many others.
One verse from the Bible which my friend often used to quote was from Rev. 3:20 – “Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come unto him and will sup with him and he with me.”
I continued in my agony, and then a strange thing happened. I started seeing the LORD JESUS ON THE CROSS. Then one night I picked up the Bible which had been presented to me some years back, and the place where I happened to open was St. John’s Gospel, chapter 18. I began to read all about the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, and soon I found that tears were rolling my cheeks. I read this portion several nights. Then one night, at about 2 a.m. I heard a loud knock. I thought it must be the ward aid from the hospital trying to wake me up to attend to some emergency call, but soon it dawned on me that I was not on duty that night. So I lay down again. I looked at the hills from the balcony where my bed was, and the next moment, I again say the Lord Jesus on the cross with His eyes full of love and compassion. Then only I realized that it was the Saviour of the world knocking at the door of my heart.
I said to Him, “What do you want me to do? Don’t you know, I worship Krishna? How can I take you in my life? What will everyone say?” So, in my stubbornness I rejected Him for one whole week.
But the time came, and the GOOD SHEPHERD had found His lost sheep. All He had to do was to pull her out of the last bit of the thickets in which she was caught up and carry her in His arms.
On April 4th 1955, at about 8-30 p.m. as my friend and I were looking at the hills, flooded with the radiance of the moon, suddenly there burst forth in my view, a vision of hundreds of crosses on hill-tops with the Lord Jesus on them. When I turned and looked at my friend I found her praying. I felt as if my whole brain would burst, so violent was the storm in it, and yet so clear was the vision.
After returning to the hostel, I went on the terrace. There I broke down completely. As I lifted up my anguished face towards the hills, I saw my saviour again. Eyes flooded with tears, I stretched out my hands to Him and cried out, “Come and take me into your arms,” and I bowed down at His feet. All was calm. The Lord Jesus had gathered me into His loving arms. My heart was flooded with strange peace and joy, a joy which cannot be expresses in mere words, but can only be shared with those who are His own.
After my New Birth, my joy was so great that I wanted to share it with every one. That very night, I wrote 2 or 3 letters. Everything was new to me. The Lord gave me victory over my temper. My mouth was filled with His praises.
The next step that I had to take was baptism. Many wanted me to take it soon. But I did not wnt to be rushed into things. Even though I was reading all about baptism, I somehow wanted to fix not only my own time, but also the person who should baptize me. I praise the Lord that He very gently guided me in this matter. One day, as I was reading about baptism, I came across these words: “Why call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say?” I knew the Lord spoke those words to me, and then the Voice very clearly said. “Get baptized by Bro. Bakht Singh.”
By God’s grace, the assembly in Vellore came into existence on April 14th, soon after my conversion, and a campaign was started by Bro. Bakht Singh, God’s servant.
During this period, the Lord had been speaking to my friend on believer’s baptism. Being convicted, she and I along with others testified in baptism on 27th April 1955. Praise be to His holy name. It was a memorable day to me. The Lord also very lovingly placed me in the midst of His own children right from the beginning of my Christian life.
And now I come to the final part of this narrative though actually it is the start of a new phase of my new life. The Lord has been gently leading me step by step, guiding me into His plain paths.
He is that Rock which can never be shaken. He alone is the anchor of my soul.
Dear friends, this same Jesus is lovingly inviting everyone of you to come to Him. He has shed His precious blood for every sinner in the world. He gave His own life that man may live- “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16. He is longing to receive you into His loving arms. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28. He will cleanse you in the precious blood and will clothe you with graments of salvation. Humble yourself and come to Him before it is too late. Let not your soul be lost for all eternity. Let His light shine into your darkened hearts. Confess Him boldly yo others. Tell them what He has done for your soul. Do not fear man. Do not be ashamed of the Rock on which you stand. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; of whom shall I be afraid?” Ps. 27:1.
May the Lord help you to hear His still small voice and to come to the fountain of living waters.
-Dr. Sheela Gupta, Balance of Truth, June 1957