ROBIN ATHERTON'S TESTIMONY
It was April 1976 when my then husband’s cousin came to see him. This cousin, Richard Eutsler, was coming to share the Gospel. I can remember sitting in a rocking chair in my living room when I, who was lost, was found by the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are many things about that day which I consider, but one important one is the faithfulness of Richard, God’s servant, who allowed the Lord to use him in the manner that would reach me. On that day I told Richard that if he could prove to me that the Gospel was true without using the Bible I would believe it. I am here today because God quickened to him a proof using math, a subject I find great pleasure in but that he had no way of knowing. In that moment the Lord entered into my heart. This beginning has not been without its problems most notably that having the testimony of being lost and then found lacked clarity for me of the need, over and over again, of choosing who I was going to serve. Couple this with my natural, prideful inclination towards martyrdom and self abasement it has been a long journey to where I find myself today.
The beauty of this journey is the testimony of the goodness and mercy of God, not only unto me but unto all who will believe. I was a person who did not know the Lord’s love, despite the fact that it was present from the beginning. What began to break down the wall that kept me from receiving the knowledge of his love was the day I went to a Fishermen Ministry revival service in 2001. Almost all who were in attendance knew me but there was one person who did not. He was, at that time, a part of the music ministry and was ‘on stage’ throughout the service. Coming to this service marked the beginning of my return after having fallen away. This falling away occurred when I chose to marry a man who not only was not a man of God, but was also a drunken drug addict. In my fall I had slept with him prior to marriage and then, in the sorrow of the situation I found myself in, I became a drunk myself. This sinner, me, came to the revival service and at the end, the one person who did not know me walked up to me and said these words, “I do not know you and I do not know anything about you, but this one thing I know, the Lord loves you.” For the first time, I believed the Lord loved me. I want to make it clear that every other person at the service loved me and knew of the Lord’s love for me and had forgiven me my sin and extended the right hand of fellowship to me, but had they spoken those words to me I would not have received them for what they were, the word of God. In time, by God’s grace, I was delivered from the marriage and drunkenness and returned into the fellowship of the saints.
Still I struggled to walk in the victory the Lord calls those who will believe to walk in because I continued to give heed to the testimony of my flesh. As I was driving one day a few years ago the Lord, in his goodness, spoke to me and asked me if I believed he could change even me. I am not one who has a testimony of God speaking to her, but I do know that on this day he did and I heard him and answered yes, I believe. I have gone back to that day and that question and my answer more than once in the battle to know the power of his resurrection in my life. To be saved one must believe both in the sufficiency of the Lord’s sacrifice as payment for your sins but also in the power of his resurrection to raise you from the dead, translating you into the body of Christ. It is this that the Lord asked me if I believed and I answered yes. Yes, Lord, I believe not only in the sufficiency of your sacrifice but also in the power of your resurrection. So I stand, not because I have now become this perfect person, but I stand by faith in Him. I rejoice that I am a vessel of his mercy, and not of his wrath. Mercy, because, I, a sinner, am saved by grace and not by works. How great is our God who chose to offer his creation redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. I for one rejoice in this and choose each day, and throughout each day to serve the Lord and rejoice that He, by faith in Him, has made me meet to be a partaker in the inheritance of the saints, me, an undeserving sinner, who, like you, the Lord chose to die for and offer redemption to and to whom, by his grace, I answer over and over again, yes Lord I believe. What a mighty and loving God! Amen.