I saw Earth from space and thought, ‘My Saviour was there’

I saw Earth from space and thought, ‘My Saviour was there’
Captain Barry Wilmore
Captain Barry Wilmore Former US Navy test pilot and NASA astronaut.
01 December, 2023 5 min read

I was born in the city of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 1962. Both my parents were Christians; they loved the Lord and meeting with God’s people at church each Sunday. All my earliest memories revolve around being there.

When my dad was a toddler, he accidentally burned his hand on a stove and scarred his palm. I can still remember tracing the outline of that scar over and over again while we sat in church.

It was a way for a mischievous young boy to pass the time while the pastor spoke up at the front. The point of course is not the scar, but that my memories of it, like numerous others, are associated with being in Christ’s church.

The wages of sin

By the age of eight, I had heard most Bible stories and could recite many from memory. Then at one Sunday evening church service a visiting pastor spoke on the truths of hell. Oh my!

Though I’d heard it before, for the first time I became truly aware in my understanding that my sin had consequences, and those consequences lead to a dreadful outcome.

The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and that the wages of sin is death. Dread and fear enveloped me because I knew for certain that God was aware of my sin and that because of it, I stood in desperate need of cleansing. The burden was real. I knew I was a sinner, not only bound for eternal punishment, but deserving of it. 

The problem was that I wasn’t fully aware how salvation could come to me. I believed in Jesus, and that he incurred the wrath of God and ultimately died for my sin. I was also aware that he rose again, defeating death and then ascending to the right hand of God the Father where he could intercede on my behalf. But how do I get him to make that all count for me?

I couldn’t figure out how I could pray well enough or change my thoughts, actions, and behaviour to the point where God would see my sincerity and forgive me. What did I need to do?

Finally, God’s Holy Spirit, working through the Bible, made it clear to me that there was nothing I could do to earn forgiveness. It would be an act of God – he alone could turn my cold, dead heart into one that was renewed and alive to him.

God made me aware that my only hope for forgiveness and eternal hope was a substitute, that being Jesus Christ. The Bible says to Christians, ‘You he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.’ It could only be God who saved me through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of my Lord Jesus.

As I grew older, I continued to regularly be a part of a local church and was convicted to read the Bible and try to learn and grow more and more in God’s grace.

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