I was brought up in a Christian home, and I never doubted that God is real and that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world to reunite people with God. However, I never understood what that meant. I heard my parents and a lot of Christians say that they had a personal relationship with God, they would even go as far as saying that that relationship with God was life, eternal life.
I really wanted a part in that relationship with God, so I did all that I thought could be done to get close to God: I read the Bible and prayed every day, I went to church, I helped out in church and I even met with other Christians. Despite doing all that I never really felt that relationship nor that closeness to God.
When I was 18 I left home. I went to university and for the first I was alone with no family around. Still trying to cling on to the Christian lifestyle I began to feel divided. I wanted to carry on being a good Christian but at the same time I just wanted to go out and live my own life and follow my own desires. However, I soon found that what I wanted, my desires, were completely against God laws and commands. Therefore, everything I wanted to do came down to a decision – should I follow God’s law or should I enjoy my own life? I always ended up choosing my way instead of God’s way.
In choosing my way I was rejecting God, I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I would just tell myself that God understood me and that I was just doing what every other 18 year old young man was doing. But, despite loving my life I was never at peace, nothing I chose to do satisfied me. Yes I would have a blast, enjoy a laugh and the company of friends but at the end of the day it all came to nothing.
I began to question about life, what really is the purpose of life? Eat, drink, sleep and then…? Good education, good career, make money and then…? Get married, settle down, start a family and then…? NO MATTER WHAT ROUTE I TOOK, IT ALL CAME TO THE SAME ENDING… DEATH. So, were we really made to die?
With all of these questions in my heart I carried on living my own selfish life, where everything was about my own happiness and enjoyment; and with this, that closeness with God I once was jealous of and really wanted for myself faded away.
But, one evening God intervened. In September 2011, at the age of 19, someone touched my life and I fell in love. On that day a relationship started, there has been ups and downs since, but I know that this is a relationship that can never be broken and it is a relationship that will last for an eternity. Jesus and I.
I arrived in my student accommodation and as I entered my bedroom, a great weight of guilt suddenly fell on me, I fell on my bed, tears rolled down my eyes, and I came to remember and think upon all of my wrongdoings; how I had decided to live for myself, how I decided to reject God and how I pushed Him away. I was being broken, humiliated, and I found no excuse, nothing to fight back with.
God was intervening. It was brutal, terrifying (the reality of hell hit me) and in my despair God spoke into my heart – “Remember Jesus, He died to make you clean. Repent, and believe in the Gospel of Jesus.” At that moment I finally understood something I had been taught since I was born.
The Gospel became personal to me. I realised that all my wrongdoings and all my sins nailed Jesus to the cross. But, Jesus was not holding it against me, He willingly suffered the cross in my place, so that I can be reconciled to God, so that I can have peace with God, and so that I may live.
Before I thought that I could make myself a good Christian, and that I could work my way up to be close to God, and that I could earn a relationship with God. But now I know it is a gift of God. When I rejected His goodness, He intervened, and when I pushed Him away He opened His loving arms and called me close to His side.
Our relationship continues…
P.s. I asked, “Were we made to die?” God replied, “No, I created you to live.”