It was a MIRACLE of GOD
There will be many memorial services today remembering those who sacrificed their lives trying to save others. The horrific events of September 11, 2001 are still vivid in many of our minds. Too many lives were lost and our country was shaken to its very core.
In the aftermath of 9/11, there was an increase in church attendance. How does one make sense of the senseless? Many turned to God for comfort, but many turned away with the question “how could a loving God allow this to happen?!!”
There will be another memorial service today~ the last service to celebrate the life of my Daddy, Rev. Lance Mills. While so many feel hopeless in the midst of tragedy and loss, my Daddy lived his life seeking to offer hope to the lost. He knew this hope, because he found it himself.
My prayer for today is that those who feel hopeless as they remember the tragedies from 9/11 will find the hope that my Daddy found!
My dear Uncle, Franklin Mills, has given me permission to share a letter that he wrote to friends and family about my Dad. Here it is…
I first heard about who Jesus Christ really is from the lips of my brother. I was 17 years old at the time and my brother, Lance, was 27. I didn’t know it at the time, but one night when my mother and I were not at home a miracle took place in our living room at 1314 Seneca Street in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. There were no flashes of lightening across the sky or loud cracks of thunder bursting through the silence… but… a miracle had taken place, that is for certain.
You see, that night, while watching a Billy Graham Crusade on our television, my brother got down on his knees in front of our TV and invited Jesus Christ to come into his life to be his Savior and his Lord. Billy Graham, at the close of his message that night, said this…
“If you would like your life changed, Jesus Christ can change your life.”
That is the only part of the message that my brother heard. But, that was all that he needed to hear. Oh… how my brother wanted to be changed! But he just couldn’t do it; nor could any of the doctors in any of the hospitals in which my mom admitted him. You see my brother was an alcoholic.
However, that night, in the quiet darkness of our living room a miracle occurred. When my brother got up off his knees, God had healed him completely from his battle with alcoholism. My brother NEVER took another drink again, nor did he even desire to do so. He was indeed, as the Bible declares, a new person. Lance Mills was a new creature in Christ. All things… ALL THINGS had become new. And, the old things were gone! (II Corinthians 5:17)
My brother was a different man. He was NOT the same brother that I once knew. He was changed and transformed from the inside-out by Jesus. Jesus Christ was now living inside of my brother in the presence and the power of God’s Holy Spirit. He was “born again” (John 3:7). It was a MIRACLE of GOD.
Now, I have to be honest with you. I did not like the changes that were taking place in my brother. He began to immediately tell me about Jesus; and at 17 years of age, I thought I knew it all. I didn’t need Jesus! Religion was okay for my brother, but I didn’t want to hear what he kept telling me about Jesus.
My brother continued to pray for me and for all of us in our family, that we, too, would come to the truth about who Jesus really is. Three years later, my mother died and that left my sister, my brother and me with no parents. Our father had died years before when I was only 3. When Mom died, I can remember being terribly afraid… terribly alone! I was twenty years old, what was I going to do? There was no way I wanted to live with my brother, whom I considered to be a “religious fanatic”. So, my sister and her husband took me into their home. I moved from “small town America” to the “big city”… Detroit, Michigan.
That was in 1970! Lance NEVER stopped praying for his family. Five years later after moving to Detroit, on June 8th, 1975 another MIRACLE occurred… this time in Michigan, when I made the same decision as my brother to invite Jesus Christ to be my Savior and my Lord.
My Daddy would want you to know that when life is hopeless, Jesus offers hope!