GOD, AT THE LAST MINUTE
I met the Lord in 1979 after living a life of justifying my sins. I don’t know what I expected from this experience. All I knew was that I was tired of the fight, the helplessness and the loneliness. I wanted to die or I wanted my life to change. Whatever it took I wanted God to change my life or let me die.
I think that is where most people find themselves before they meet the Lord and finally give Him a chance to show what He’s got. I grew up believing in God and Jesus. I had read all the stories and heard others talk about Him. But, personally, I never knew the guy.
From the moment I came to put my trust in what Jesus did to pay for my sins I wanted to know everything there was to know about Him and what He expected from me.
It was truly the “what now?” stage of my life. My life became a book with chapter after chapter of failures, misunderstandings, and learning of what it really means to wait on God and trust Him.
I began by devouring the Word of God. I was immediately placed in a Bible study with a couple from the church. It was a beginner’s study to confirm assurance of my salvation. Understanding the principles of faith is key to anyone’s walk with God. I constantly have to reaffirm the fact that Jesus went to the cross to make God the Father satisfied, to pay the price, set by Him, for my actions. I still find myself trying to earn my salvation, His blessings, and His grace. But Ephesians 2:8, 9 has become the rock that I stand on when I find myself in this position. When Satan tries to tell me that I am not good enough for God to bless, that I have failed Him too many times, then I return to that verse and turn my trust back to Jesus for my reassurance. God loved me before I loved Him. God wants only the best for me; hence, some of my prayers are not answered. And I today, thank Him for it.
People say, “You have been through so much, I don’t know how you hold up.” And I find myself shaking my head in dismay, because I don’t feel like I have been through anything, really. I look at other families and children suffering. Abused wives and children, soldiers turned into paraplegics by the enemy, and I feel so blessed. My life seems so trivial compared to mothers that are raising babies born with deformities or strong men that for the love of their country gave arms and legs so that I could walk down my street in a free country. No, my life has not been easy but when looking at the big picture, my problems and I are grasshoppers.
Each trial and tribulation I go through allows me to see God perform His strength, His miracles and blessings on a small creature that depends totally on Him. His faithfulness is there when others prove unfaithful. His presence is there when others have left.
Over the years I have struggled with financial problems that I have brought upon myself by bad investments and not heeding good counsel from others, only to see God pull me out at the last moment. The times that He did not pull me out was probably due to my fatigue. At times I have become tired of the struggle to hold onto things that were just that, things. I would give up.
I have struggled with the “healing” aspect of the Bible. Why some are healed and not others. Why Jesus raised some from the dead and why we don’t have enough faith to do the same. Questions with no answers, until finally, one day, you find yourself not questioning anymore.
As the years passed and His faithfulness became more evident, my faith in His Faithfulness grew. Faith is acquired only if you are able to see His hand in everything that is going on. Standing on His faithfulness is when you can’t see His hand in what is happening. Only after the storm passes and the winds calm can you look back and say, “my God is my strength and my salvation, whom or what shall I fear?” Only then can you see that you walked with His strength and not your own.