I had a misunderstanding before conversion that the life and calling of a Christian was full of count it all happiness and worldly blessings. It isn’t.
These past ten years have been the hardest of my 31 years of life. I am not a salesman of Christianity, but I have a lot of truth to say about how my life has been changed for the better. This is my story and my life as a stumbling, crawling, dying to self again, and again… and again, Christ follower.
It was ten years ago this Easter that my heart of stone was turned into a heart of flesh. It was at Bible school overseas. After wrestling with God in the wilderness I realized that my life and the world wasn’t about me, but it was about Jesus Christ and His glory. It was Easter morning after months of theologizing, rationalizing, and trying to grasp this other worldly truth about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Father, Yahweh.
That bright Easter weekend overseas was filled with so many firsts. My first Maundy Thursday and the Lord’s Supper with washing my classmates feet. Good Friday and meditating on the Father’s grief. The wait of suspended hope and disbelief of Holy Saturday. And then, finally, the promise of resurrection Sunday when Jesus destroyed death once and for all. The completion of the ultimate sacrifice and eternal atonement of redemption.
The sun rose early over the pasture of grazing sheep. It was sunrise service on Easter morn. We sang worship songs, we held hands, we prayed, we thanked God for this incredible gift. I put my faith in the Jesus Christ and His death for me. I had my own pentecost of the Holy Ghost coming upon me. The words of scripture that once seemed foreign now became illuminated and incredibly personal to my life and calling. It was a dramatic and exhilarating experience to come alive after being called by my Savior to rise with him on that early Easter morning ten years ago…
What happened since then, well, it is too much to write about in one post. Suffice it to say, I had a lot of growing pains in my first ten years of being alive in Christ. I made so many mistakes. Although, I was set free from my deadness in sin, I still chose the things of the world and my own selfish desires time and time again. For many reasons, not unnatural to most men, I had great difficulty trusting this omnipotent, benevolent God. Much of my struggle has been continuing to mistrust that God is real and that He is good. There were so many days where I never believed that the sun would rise again like it did that Easter morning so many years ago. Some days, I still have trouble believing that the Son will rise again.
But thank God for Easter. Thank God for the bloody, gruesome Cross. Thank God that today Jesus Christ rose from the dead nearly 2000 years ago and He changed eternity past and future and continues to change me today. He is real and He is good. Although, my ten years have been full of severe anguish caused by my own sin and of wrongs done against me… I have the unchangeable hope and promise that one day Jesus Christ will come again and I will be with Him in eternity praising His beautiful grace.
Although these past ten years since conversion have been full of great suffering in the dark valleys, it has also been filled with unspeakable joy in those days when I have glimpses of His glory. He is still changing me in spite of me. He is not done with me yet, and I am thankful to begin this new decade committed to His Glory and my enjoyment of Him.
Amen. Come Lord, Jesus.