My life before God redeemed me was empty. It was as though there was something missing. My life was full of things to do, people and stuff but deep down in the depths of my soul there was this unsettling feeling of sadness. Now at the time, I would not have articulated it that way, but now that I have experienced the fullness of joy and peace that comes only from the abundant life found in Jesus, I know it to be true.
I was raised in church, active in church and said and did all the things a good little church-girl was supposed to do (when people were looking). I knew the Scriptures, prayed and was kind to people. So all evidence pointed to the fact that I was indeed a Christian. So … what was missing? Well, I was missing peace, contentment and the security of knowing that when I died I would really go to Heaven. The key to those missing pieces, I discovered, was in a personal relationship with Jesus.
You see, I believed in God. I believed that Jesus died for my sins, was buried and was raised from the dead. But I believed all of that in my head and some how it had never been transferred to my heart. What I had never truly done was accept, in full, the forgiveness Jesus offered me, surrender to His Lordship and experience a personal relationship with Him – a relationship in which I depended completely on Him and lived to please Him and only Him. Prior to that realization, I was often ashamed to even talk about Jesus with others.
For me, this realization was a process. God began showing Himself to me during a period of time in my life when things were very unsettled. My parents had divorced, some unhealthy relationships I was in had turned out to be hurtful, and I was far away from home. I can remember crying out to the Lord on numerous occasions and begging Him to show me if He was there. Each time in some tangible way, He did.
One Sunday morning as I walked into church, it was as though every hurt and fear that was buried deep inside of me welled up and sprang forth. The floodgates opened, and I literally cried for the entire worship service! I can remember promising God that if He would just allow me to stop crying, I would go make my public declaration of faith. Finally, the invitation song began, and I darted to the front, made my profession and immediately felt the weight of the world being lifted off of me and peace flooded my soul.
Since that moment, I have loved to study the Word of God and have had peace, contentment and security in my life. Do I still sin? Of course, we all do. Are there moments of discontentment? Yes, I am human. Do I still experience the day-to- day struggles of life? Absolutely! But there is peace and fullness of joy that can only be found in the abundant life Jesus offers because of His redemption of our sins. I will forever be thankful that God continued His pursuit of me and that I can live knowing that He is always there for me and that He loves me unconditionally! Psalm 40:1-3 is the passage that portrays my story of redemption.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord
What is your story? Will you share it with someone this week and tell them about Jesus?