Everyone has a story. Every story is full of mystery. Mine is no different. How did I come to know God? In some ways, it’s a difficult question. After all, we can only describe our own perspective, and in many ways, our view is the most limited. Someday, in Heaven, I’ll hear the full story. For now, I can share what I know of this beautiful journey.
God made the first move
God intervened in my life in the mid-eighties. Of course, He’d been present since before I was born, but I was completely unaware. In late ‘85 I heard the gospel for the first time. A few short days later, I met a woman who so exemplified the message I’d heard that I took notice.
I didn’t immediately commit my life to Christ. Instead, I picked up the Bible, started at Genesis and simply began reading. In the pages of the Old Testament, I encountered the Holy and Merciful God of the Universe. I was captivated. By the time I reached the book of Hosea, I knew with certainty that I was a sinner and that I was living on all the wrong principles. I was not at all pleased with that realization and was, at the time, offended by God’s intrusion. I was also enthralled. I simply could not let go of the possibility that God might Be and that He might love me enough to claim me as His own.
In the New Testament, I encountered Jesus. I thought I knew who Jesus was. After all, I’m an America and anyway, I went to Vacation Bible School one year when I was a child. But really, I had no idea. As I read, I met Jesus for the first time. I was enthralled with his beauty and goodness.
Throughout that journey, I weighed my life in the balance. On the one hand; all I held as important. On the other; God. I understood that to know God, I would have to let go of many things I held dear. I understood that I would have to walk away from my entire lifestyle and commit all to God.
By the middle of Hebrews, I decided that God was worth all. In 1 John I read the way; “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” And so that’s what I did. I got down on my knees on the floor of my apartment and confessed every sin I could think of. I asked Jesus to forgive me – and He did. By the time I got up off the floor, I was a new person. In truth, the old had passed away.
Walking with Jesus
Since then, I’ve been walking, running, dancing, crying, laughing and sometimes wrestling with Jesus. I’ve found Him faithful.
Accepting the mystery
To tell my story is to speak of one side of a conversation. I can’t know the other side. I don’t know how God wooed me to Him through my years of wandering. I can only guess at the protection He’s consistently placed around my life and the gentle guidance He continues to provide.
The work of my salvation is His. The work of my sanctification is His. My part is to love Him, to chase after Him, to love the things He loves and to flee the things He hates. And that’s what my life is about – whether in Afghanistan or America.
Reflecting on the journey
In the years since meeting Jesus, I’ve had wonderful opportunities to call people to Him, to disciple and to encourage His children, to worship Him and to pour out my prayers in His presence. I’ve been through dark times and times filled with joy. Along the way, I’ve fallen deeper and deeper in love with Him and in truth, nothing in my life is as sweet as knowing Him.
I am awed by God. I believe He’s is worth everything. When I committed my life to Christ, I understood that I wanted to know Him more than anything else in the world. Over time, I’ve learned that He wants me, and not only me, but all of us. That He loves us. That He created us to know and worship Him, to obey Him and live for Him. I just love that. My response? I want to live a life of intimacy with God and ministry that flows from that intimacy. I want to call others to do so as well. It’s really that simple.
My story in audio
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