Written By C. Tan for YMI
I was brought up in a family of non-Christians. To my dad, salvation made possible by Christ’s crucifixion and subsequent resurrection was not logical. Coupled with his allegiance to his religion over sentimental reasons relating to my deceased mum, it was hard for him to be open to other religions, let alone one that claimed to be the only way.
When I accepted Christ several years ago, I faced harsh opposition from my dad. Things got tougher when I told him about my decision to be baptized, one week before the day of my baptism. My baptism date coincided with the date of my mum’s death anniversary—he stressed this fact and used it to reason with me why I was not allowed to be baptized on that day. He would only agree to my baptism when I got married and had my own family.
Deep down, I knew the significance of baptism and really wanted to be baptized. But I also knew that I needed to honor my dad (Ephesians 6:1-2). It was a huge struggle and dilemma; I spent many nights in prayer and tears.
Concerned friends around me kept asking what my plans were. Whenever they posed me the question, I would avoid making any decision as I felt that God would make one for me. True enough, God revealed His Word to me.
During a conversation with a loved one two days before my baptism, the topic was brought up again and I was once again urged to make a decision on my baptism. While thinking of how to respond, the words “at the eleventh hour” suddenly flashed across my mind. It was quick but the words were very clear. I immediately sensed that these words could be God’s response to my prayers over the past week. I decided to cling on to those words, a part of me sensing that something would indeed happen at the eleventh hour.
On the night before my baptism, the words “at the eleventh hour” kept resounding at the back of my head; I was eager to know the plans God had for me. I prayed that night and told God that I trusted Him fully and would continue to hold on to those words. With that, I went to bed, an hour earlier than my usual bedtime.
I woke up at 7 a.m. the next morning at the sound of my phone’s alarm. Reaching for my phone, I noticed a text message on the screen—it was from my dad! He wrote about how it was my mum’s death anniversary and included some memories of how we spent the past 20 years without her. He wished me all the best for the day and told me that he loved me all the same. As you would expect, I was completely elated and cried tears of joy.
But what really overwhelmed me was when I saw the timestamp on the message received—11:47 p.m. The words “at the eleventh hour” flashed across my mind again and I cried tears of praise to God.
It was a precious lesson that showed me how God fights our battles for us, especially when we have submitted the situation to Him and hold fast to His faithfulness. And God is indeed faithful. He really is.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”—Hebrews 10:23