When Ruth showed me this verse from Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
My eyes glued to the text. My heart beat stopped for a while, I had an impression that only good people are accepted by God, here it is different. I looked up to her and asked her” Then is it true that there is none righteous in His sight?”
“Yes. she said, there is none in this world who are righteous in His sight; all have sinned. Our righteousness is like dirty rags in HIs sight, but yet God loves each one of us, He forgives us though we are sinful. “
It look like a strange revelation to me, I sat there with the Bible in my lap for a minute, and told her,” Ok now you have to study , time is short, let’s take the text books”
She took a pamphlet from her book bag and gave it to me. Its long folded paper, with daily devotional texts from the Bible, “ Leela read this text given from the bible every day from the Bible” I carefully looked into the paper, there is number wise text from theBible for each day.Like 1) Text from the bible 2) and another text from the Bible. I took it and kept it in my room on my table.
I forgot about it conveniently thereafter.
September month in the year 1972, wherein Ruth wrote her supplementary exams was over. May 1973 arrived for our final Degree exams. Almost 7 months have passed away since I got that pamphlet. Neither I looked into the pamphlet or read the Bible.
Now I have to write Finalexams, again I remembered Jesus, my need to depend on Him to write the exams. Time table of the exams was given. I took out the Pamphlet and read the Bible text the previous day of the exam very forcefully. In difficulty I knelt down to ask for His help in my exam for 2 minutes. Praying was very difficult for me.” Lord Jesus, Please help me in my exam tomorrow, I will come to church to fulfill my oath of giving some money to you, in Jesus name Amen”
Exams started. I wrote two History papers, Economics two papers came home. Mom used to ask me immediately she has seen me I used to tell her” Oh Yea I wrote very very well,” with broad smile on my face two more Telugu Literature Papers to be finished, The first paper being Dakshina Vangmaya charitra, which has been very tough paper. I read thoroughly for the exam, But I could not study 3 questions which were already given in the September exam, hoping that they won’t be repeated in the May exam, speculating thus I set aside those three questions, and got well prepared for the next day’s exam.
But when I went to the examination hall and saw the three questions that I left out were there in the question paper, and the other questions were not well prepared, I was utterly disappointed to the core. Depressed, I completely wrote the exam and came out of the hall. All my group friends Ruth, Radha, Helen etc were almost in tears, but I had some principles in my BA studies.
Like “ Women are powerful, not weaklings” ; “ Should not weep in front of any one;”I would rather be a spinster than giving dowry and getting married”
Soon after we came out of the examination hall i looked at our friends, all in a depressed mood and almost in tears; I joked to them “Ok Helen shall we meet In Vizag or here in Kakinada for the September exam?” giggling I ascended to the bus, once I sat in my seat , I could not talk to Radha as usual, I controlled my tears, and reached home . soon after I came home my mom looked into my face and enquired about the exam; I did not answer as usual, telling her “ Oh Very well wrote” (Brahmandanga rasanu)
I kept quiet, nibbled the food, went into the room and closed the doors ajar. I took the book for the next exam, the 2nd paper of Telugu Literature. I was staring at the books, many thoughts running in my mind, ‘ so I am going to fail in this final year, and dad will give me in marriage, I told him that I would do PG and I want to work for three years, and then get marry, Now I am going to fail in BA it means marriage, it means washing the vessels in the kitchen life long” I could not control my tears, I started to weep silently then my mom peeped through the closed doors, and said,” Leela are you weeping? Pray for the next exam and get ready for tomorrow.” She said so and left me alone
. I pulled the Bible and took the Pamphlet given by Ruth for prayer for the next exam.
When I saw into the paper I saw verses for the day were from Lamentations 22:33 I felt relieved as soon as I saw the title of the book, Lamentations means, weeping aloud, ‘oh yea even I am weeping bitterly these words suit me well,’ I assured myself and I opened the Bible to read
. Then and there a loud malevoice admonished in my head at once saying to me like this” Believe what you read” I promptly replied, “ “Yes Lord” IKept my right hand on my heart and said so. and started to read,
“ the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases: His mercies never come to an end;
It struck my mind,
‘ (If the love of the God is steadfast and never ceases, His mercies never come to end and they are new every morning. And If Great is your faithfulness,I will get through my difficulties, I assured myself)
“ The Lord is my portion says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him”
( Hope in Him Oh yes I have hope in Him) I told myself once again.
“ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him to the soul who seeks HIm” (Am I not waiting for Him ? Yes surely He will rescue me from these exams”)
“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord ( I kept my mind a minute very quietly. I have to wait for His salvation? For me Salvation means rescuing me from the exam I wrote badly this morning. I told myself strongly.)
“It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him;”
My Telugu literature helped me a lot to understand these Bible verses, I thought ( Ok I am sitting alone in silence bearing His yoke on my shoulders, I will wait for HIs redemption quietly).
“Let him put his mouth in the dust there may yet be hope. Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, Let him be filled with insults.( OK Lord if You want me strike and wants me to be filled with insults I am ready, Its your wish and command”) I yielded to Him obediently
For the Lord will not cast off forever but, though he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of His steadfast love;for He does not afflict from His heart or grieve the children of men“ ( Whatevah though I am grieved His compassion is abundance on me, so is His steadfast love for me, What He is telling me that He does not afflict me from His heart, or grieve me purposefully!! What else I need I rejoice)
Strangely a great peace overwhelmed me, all that grief tears before I read the scriptures vanished, my tears wiped off, I am cool and quiet, I had great assurance that He is going to give me salvation(Rescuing me from my exam, for me) He did not cause me grief of this morning purposefully because His compassion and steadfast love is abundant upon me. Peace oh peace engulfed me. I prayed for a few minutes thanking God with unspoken words. Took the books to prepare for the next day’s exam. The storm, fears, and anxiety in my heart vanished at once.This was the first time God talked to me through His word, and told me by His voice to believe the Scriptures and gave me eternal peace which is beyond description.
I studied Chandhass Proudah vyakaranam appakveeyam letter by letter and went to the exam as if I was walking in the clouds. Serene and quiet and happy in my heart. While I was writing answers in the exam I felt like the textbooks and notes books I studied were opened in my mind’s eye and I wrote camma, semicolon and full stop also as it is In the exam. I wrote this exam in flying colours.