Born Again at 101

By John Fischer

Vicky never gave up. For 42 years she prayed for her uncle. Last year she thought she could see some cracks forming in his 101-year-old heart. Earlier in the summer, Vicky’s daughter joined a short-term mission group in Hawaii. Her emails home were all about what God was doing in her life, and Vicky’s uncle read them all. Vicky wasn’t sure, but he seemed moved by them. And then something happened that broke his heart. Was God was opening up a place in the hard heart for Himself?

“I am a scientific person,” he once screamed at Vicky, “and I need scientific evidence. I need proof! I won’t believe unless I have proof!” C.S. Lewis has said that God dragged him, kicking and screaming, into heaven and Vicky decided to hold onto the hope that God was dragging her uncle in like Lewis. He’s an intelligent man and a self-made millionaire. He’s been fighting God for 100 years. Those are hard odds to overcome, but nothing’s impossible with God.

Vicky and her daughter went to see him after her daughter’s return from Hawaii. “We went with highest hopes,” Vicky said. “As usual, he was incredibly distracted and appeared not to be listening. My daughter kept trying to steer the conversation back to Jesus and he kept changing the subject. Finally I told him how I knew he had no purpose and hope for living and asked him if he wanted to pray with us to find the peace that his sister and I had found in Christ. Miraculously, he softly said, ‘Yes.’ My daughter and I couldn’t believe it!”

Shortly after Christmas, the sister he dearly loved and had looked after all his life, passed away. Vicky believes it is the grace of God that kept her alive long enough to see her brother’s salvation. Though he was deeply saddened by her leaving, Vicky’s uncle was visibly buoyed by the knowledge of being able to be reunited with her in heaven. This is the same man who only a few months earlier had claimed there was nothing after death. Nothing. Now he has a new purpose for his life, and, by the way, another sister to take care of. This one is only 96 and in better health than her older sister, which puts a little sparkle in her brother’s eyes because it means he can get out again. He may not be screaming anymore at 102, but he’s still kicking!

Last October, Vicky’s family got to celebrate her uncle’s one-hundred-second and her aunt’s one-hundredth birthday with the joy of adding the celebration of his first natural birthday as a Christian. Born again at 101. Proof that it’s never too late; and encouragement to all to never give up, even amidst the most obstinate resistance. Just ask Vicky.

Question: Is there someone in your life who you’ve been praying for, seemingly without results, for a long time? Can you recommit to continue praying for them?

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