February 6

Written by Bill Grandi on February 6th, 2024

Have you ever heard of Judson Van Deventer? Neither had I. Or so I thought. It was not until I read -as Paul Harvey used to say, “The rest of the story”-that I knew more about him than I thought.

Born on a farm, JVD learned to paint, studied art, and became an art teacher. God, however, had different plans for him. Encouraged by his friends, Judson also felt called to evangelism. But it was hard for him to give up teaching art. He finally made his decision.

Following God is not always (like hardly ever) easy. Sometimes we are challenged to make tough choices. Our comfortable, sedentary life is uprooted. Even though we make the choice to follow Jesus and His call, there may still be moments of doubt and even anxiety.

Judson heeded God’s call. Later he went back to teaching. His decision to surrender even led to a song you may heard or sung: “All to Jesus I surrender/All to Him I freely give/I will ever love and trust Him/In His presence daily live/I surrender all, I surrender all/All to Thee my blessed Savior/I surrender all.”

Oh…and one more thing: remember when I said that Judson eventually went back into teaching? One of his students was a young man who name was…wait for it…Billy Graham.

I was speaking with someone yesterday about God’s plan for our life. About how His surprises are endless. And how His timing is impeccable. We never know…only He does.

{My thanks to Our Daily Bread for the story of JVD. The filler is mine}


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. I love hearing the stories behind the stories. Following God is not always easy, but it is always fruitful! Judson and Billy Graham are prime example. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m glad I was able to read the story Pam. It is an inspiration to see who surrender to God reaps rewards.

  2. What an inspirational story, Bill! Coincidentally, “Surrender” is my word of the year and I love that song. So wonderful to now know the backstory.

  3. Glynn says:

    You never know what God is doing until it’s done. I’ve been reading in Genesis about Joseph — look at what God did with Joseph being sold into slavery.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      So true Glynn! And Joseph’s comment “You meant it for evil but God meant it for good” says it all.

  4. gail says:

    What a great story Bill, thanks for sharing. God never fails to amaze us, He is always steps ahead, and His plan is always flawless. No story is completely understood until God shows us all the connections when we are with Him in eternity.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Glad you liked the story Gail. But you are true. God never ceases to amaze me and we will not know everything until we are with Him. I think we will be astounded at His ways and His plan.