While Josh McDowell was attending seminary in California, his father went Home to be with the Lord. His mother had died years earlier, but Josh was not sure of her salvation. He became depressed, thinking that she might be lost. Was she a Christian or not? The thought obsessed him. “Lord,” he prayed, “somehow give me the answer so I can get back to normal. I’ve just got to know.” It seemed like an impossible request.
Two days later, Josh drove out to the ocean. He walked to the end of a pier to be alone. There sat an old woman in a lawnchair, fishing. “Where’s your home originally?” she asked.
“Michigan—Union City,” Josh replied. “Nobody’s heard of it. I tell people it’s a suburb of —”
“Battle Creek,” interrupted the woman. “I had a cousin from there. Did you know the McDowell family?”
Stunned, Josh responded, “Yes, I’m Josh McDowell!”
“I can’t believe it,” said the woman. “I’m a cousin to your mother.”
“Do you remember anything at all about my mother’s spiritual life?” asked Josh.
“Why sure—your mom and I were just girls—teenagers—when a tent revival came to town. It was the fourth night—we both went forward to accept Christ.”
“Praise God!” shouted Josh, startling the surrounding fishermen.
Our Daily Bread, September 18