November 30 is my spiritual birthday. That’s when I was first touched by amazing grace! Back then, I experienced a day and night difference. My world was turned upside down with feelings of happiness. I was a new creation. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17) As John Newton said, “How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed” This meant (I thought at the time) that I would enjoy my best life now with no major obstacles. I’d complete my doctoral dissertation with no sweat, and I’d quickly be married to an excellent Christian wife. Wasn’t that what it meant to be a child of God? Nope, it didn’t quite work out the way I thought it would. Why? Because without realizing it, I was focused more on what I could get from God than on who he was. Indeed, what my attitude really amounted to was “Lord, if you won’t quickly meet my needs, don’t expect me to go out of my way to change my way of doing things or bother too much with learning what it means to please you.” With that attitude, God allowed me to enter a very dry time. (While at the same time continually protecting and preserving me much more than I realized!) God used many ways to change my attitude, but today I want to focus on just one. He brought me into fellowship with some strong Christian helpers. Amazingly, I first met them on April Fool’s Day! (I love how it says in 1 Corinthians 4:10 We are fools for Christ) Even with a renewed attitude, it still is taking much time for God’s beautiful truths to better percolate through more of my life. I knew the Bible was doctrinally true but was pretty poor at connecting it to the life changes God was calling for in a stubborn, independent man. So, it’s been helpful to have Christian friends who connect the truths of God and scripture to daily real life and who lovingly let me know when I am full of baloney. I never did complete my doctoral dissertation. And it took nine years until I married the love of my life. And another 10 years after that before I finally found my true vocational calling from God (Not a professor but a computer geek!) My story shows how we have a patient and longsuffering God who cares enough to spend decades molding and shaping us to be more like what he wants. And the more I grow, the more I see I still need to grow. Wherever you are on your journey, be encouraged that God ain’t done with you yet!
Month: April 2022