God Never Gave Up ... Grant Burkhart's Testimony

When I was a little boy, my sisters told me, “Someday, Grant, you’re going to die.” I didn’t believe it for a second. “Dying is for people that get sick, and I ain't ever gonna get sick so I ain't ever gonna die.” “Everybody dies including you,” they said. “Go ask Dad.” So I ran off crying and said to my dad, “Is it true? Is it true? Am I going to die?” I still remember all these years later, he said, “It’s true, Grant; everybody dies, but it’s okay because God loves you, and he will take care of you.” I never forgot that.

My dad taught me to believe God takes care of people, and I believed him. Being a kid was hard — I was a little monster. We moved around a lot, and my mother died when I was fourteen. A couple years later I enlisted in the army, and I really saw how evil the world is. I just couldn't stand it so I took up drinking as a hobby and pretty much went crazy. I don’t think I would have lived much longer, but God takes care of us. He sent Sue, the most wonderful woman in the world, into my life. God used Sue to take the crazy out of my life. Not long after I married Sue, my Dad died. He had just been waiting around to die since my mom passed, but it still hurt.

My Dad had always believed in God and the Bible, and I wanted to live for God like my Dad. I decided to start going back to church. I gave my life to the Lord and was baptized in a local church. God really did something special for me there — took a lot of the evil out of me. Some things bothered me about my church though, things that didn’t go by the Bible. Church leaders smoked cigarettes after church in the parking lot. The Bible says our bodies are temples, but the pastor said smoking was okay. I smoked too, but I knew it wasn’t right. I wanted to follow the truth, but where could I go where people just went by the Bible? 

At that point in my life, Adventist literature found me wherever I went. Someone put an Adventist book on the dash of my car. I got rid of it, and weeks later I found the exact same book in a phone booth. I read it and immediately knew the Sabbath was true. I had been looking for the truth, but now the truth had found me. One day I was driving along in my Corvette and it just broke down for no apparent reason. A man stopped to help me get my car started. There was something special about him, and he invited me to go to a seminar on Bible prophecy at the local high school. I knew God was calling me to go, but I didn’t go. Not long after that I thought it was over, but I got a flyer in the mail. They were having another seminar at the high school. I felt bad about not going before when the man had invited me, so I went. It was amazing, and these folks named George and Janice Enquest came to visit me. It was obvious they were God’s people, but I still had struggles. 

As I was wrestling with these new truths, something horrible happened at work — an accident with a forklift broke my neck, giving me the worst pain ever in my life. Surgery made it worse. I became hooked on painkillers and lost touch with the whole world. My wife, my kids and my grandkids all kind of disappeared. The world was like a merry-go-round that was spinning too fast for me to get on. My addictions became my whole life. It was a horrible nightmare, and I couldn't wake up.    

One day I found a DVD in my mailbox. It was about Bible prophecy, and I sent for more. As I watched the DVDs, I realized that God is in control, and He didn't want me to live this way, I decided by God's grace I would quit the painkillers. Pastor Ken LeBrun who made the DVDs started coming to study with me. He became my friend, and I began attending the Orient Seventh-day Adventist Church. God gave me the victory over cigarettes and painkillers. I lost 10 years of my life to drugs, but God has given me the victory. He also gave back my wife and my kids and my grandkids. On Nov. 22, 2014, Pastor LeBrun baptized me into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.                       

I still have some pain, but it's nothing I can't handle with God’s grace. Sometimes I have urges to go back to the old ways, but it’s just the devil. Every time I’m tempted, I just thank God for giving me the victory. For me love is the key to victory over sin. God has put his love in my heart. I love God and my family more than the painkillers, Yep, love is the key. I have a whole new life, and its worth living again. My Dad was right. God takes care of us.

Grant Burkhart

March 19, 2015 / Upper Columbia Conference