I grew up in a small town in north Georgia. It was a town that when you walked the streets you would sometimes hear gospel music coming from the houses you pasted. The troubles of the rest of the world were far away. People went to church every Sunday. All of the stores in town closed every Wednesday at noon in respect for Wednesday night Bible study. At the age of nine I accepted Christ. I recall that one of my first thoughts was â€œI want to be a Pastor when I grow up.â€ At 10 my father past away; still very young and naÃ¯ve I thought I was supposed to take control of the family and provide for them or at least do things that my mother could not do.
I entered high school. I was now being exposed to things that I had never heard of before. I also spent the summers with my cousin in Orlando Florida. (He was my father figure) he was a good man but had become involved in drugs. At some point I experimented with them myself, I also began to drink. This allowed me to socialize with the â€œIN crowdâ€. At the age of 19 I joined the Navy. More alcohol and more drugs; all of this time I was drifting away from the true source of my strength. My third year in the Navy I turned from all things to do with drugs and have not touched them to this day. It was over. But I did not leave the alcohol until I married.
My first marriage brought me home. No alcohol, church every Sunday, a beautiful wife and two beautiful children. Life was good. I did not have a lot of money, but Jesus was back in my life, (He never left, I was just being a stupid kid) after 7 years of what everyone at church and work thought was a perfect marriage, (so did I). She told me one day that she was not sure she loved me. My world fell apart. I started to drink again. Years past I went to school, worked hard, but Christ was in the background. I became very successful. But something was missing. I could go anywhere in the world, I could eat at the 5 star restaurants and not give it a thought of where the money was coming formâ€¦there was plenty. Three hundred dollars on one mealâ€¦was easily spent. Yet I was so very lost.
I was by now married to a Jewish lady. The name of Jesus was only mentioned in vain never in praise. I was so miserable. I came home every day and prayed. I prayed that some how I could come back to Him. I prayed for the peace that I once had when I followed in His word. Be careful what you pray for., the answer may not be what you hoped it would be. But it will be the only answer to those prayers that will work.
He took everything, my home, my wife, my great job everything. In a matter of a few months everything that I had worked so hard for was gone. A few months after I began to study scripture more than I had ever done in the past, I understood things. But with all of this I was still confused. Then one day, I was camping at a park just north of here. I was reading scripture. I got up and went to the dock to read, it was almost sunset. The people in the campground were talking, the dogs were barking, the ducks were quacking, the lake was calm. I sat down and began to read more. At some point I laid my Bible in my lap and looked up. Weeping, I prayed to Himâ€¦â€what is it that you want me to doâ€. At that moment every sound in the campground went away, total silence. Out of the silence came a voice that I have no words to explain it said, "I am Not finished with you."
When Jesus was on the cross He spoke these words "It is finished". God had at that point had given all of mankind everything that we need to understand God's plan for the ages. From that point on there was no need for man to try to add to what was complete. But He is not finished with us. He is constantly molding and shaping us. His glory shines brighter through the meek and the humble.
It is still painful at times when I think of the worldly things that I was once able to do. The flesh misses them.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
But I now have something eternal. I accepted it when I was 9 years old. I only understood it when I was blessed to hear the very voice of God Himself. He speaks to all of us in many ways. Please do not ignore that voice, answer His call. Jesus knocksâ€¦He waits with patience. Time is of no significance to Him. Please do not waste so many years as I have to proclaim Jesus our king and wonderful savior. Amen.
In his service forever,
Post your testimonies here about how you found Jesus and was saved in the beginning or returned after being lost! We want to hear!
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