I recently started reading the biography of American evangelist, D.L. Moody. I was struck by how God used Moody’s mother and church to bring about his conversion. His father died when he was four years old and his widowed mother struggled greatly as she raised Moody and his eight siblings alone. Yet God is faithful and used the efforts of this dear woman and her dear church – imperfect as they were – to bring the boy to faith. It’s not very spectacular – almost boring – and exactly what I’m praying for every child at Seven Mile Road.
It was not till after he left home that his actual personal conversion occurred, but it was to a tender conscience and an open heart that the Gospel invitation was given; and a soul already trained to love and honor God readily accepted His offer of salvation. The Christian training of his mother, and the faithfulness of her good pastor, were a sacred remembrance in all his after experiences, and he ever spoke appreciatively of the debt he owed to the ministry of Mr. Everett…
In later years Mr. Moody looked back with gratitude to this strict requirement of church attendance. Those hours in the village church, tedious as they were, listening as he must to sermons which he could not understand, he came to look upon as a blessing because they fixed upon him the habit of attending God’s house.
“I remember blaming my mother for sending me to church on the Sabbath,” he once said. “One one occasion the preacher had to send someone into the gallery to wake me up. I thought it was hard to have to work in the field all the week, and then to be obliged to go to church and hear a sermon I didn’t understand. I thought I wouldn’t go to church anymore when I got away from home; but I had got so in the habit of going that I couldn’t stay away. After one or two Sabbaths, back again to the house of God I went. There I first found Christ, and I have often said since, “Mother, I thank you for making me go to the house of God when I didn’t want to go.”W.R. Moody, The Committed Life: Dwight L. Moody, 22 & 26