I prayed as a child but felt that my prayers weren't really being heard. Eventually, I lost interest but, because of my training, continued to attend church and was even actively involved in music leadership. The music was painfully dreary!
During my high school years, my mom started attending prayer meetings. She sure did love going! When she and I would do dishes together, I would ask her many questions and learned a profound revelation: The Lord hadn't changed--man had shut Him off. So I attended a prayer meeting and saw all the people around me deeply touched by the presence of God, but I felt nothing. I decided that God didn't want me and I went away sad. I did not return for 2 years.
I was still very much involved in church music and the songs were still dreary. One day, my mom brought home a record from her prayer meeting and insisted that I listen to it. I was NOT interested. Finally, one morning when I was sleeping late (not unusual), she put that thing on the stereo and really cranked it! I was ready to "kill!" But, as much as I hated to admit it, those songs stuck with me: They were like nothing I had ever heard before! Little did I know that the anointed music of the Lord can penetrate to the very soul of a person. In my ignorance, all I knew was that these songs were so beautiful, so full of life, so captivating, and I wanted them, wanted to sing them, listen to them, share them. I learned every one of them thoroughly, packed them up, and brought them to my church group to start using also. They were well received but were still just "music" to us.
During the summer after I had graduated from high school, because I knew these songs, I was asked to lead the music at a special retreat where a young clergyman was planning to introduce his new parishioners to a personal relationship with Jesus. I loved to play my guitar and sing so, of course, I gladly accepted the invitation.
The Lord is merciful. Though I was in no way qualified to lead music at such a gathering because I was in every way a heathen, the Lord allowed me there anyway and it was at this retreat that I finally accepted Jesus and realized that He really did want me. No one is a reject in His eyes!
It's been almost 25 years since that happened. I have not turned back. I've had my taste of life without the Lord and I've known 25 years of life with the Lord. Life with Him is not easy but I would never trade it for what had been before. That was SO empty. This is SO full!
The Lord has given me truth where there was only "gray" before, no absolutes. People need absolutes, no matter how much they may deny that. True contentment cannot be found without boundaries. The Lord has given me security. Even though things may crumble around me, I know that I will come out of it because the Lord will not destroy me. There is a purpose in EVERYTHING that happens in my life and there is a blessing in it all somewhere. Scripture bears this out in the accounts of countless people who have gone before me. When you have the Lord looking after you, even in the midst of despair, there is hope and assurance that it has all happened for a purpose that will result in better things in the future, and even in eternity!
If you do not know Jesus personally, if you do not have a prayerful relationship with Him, if you do not sense His loving, detailed guidance in your life, if you do not spend time each day saturating your mind and soul with His Word, then I strongly urge you to change that. You will NOT regret it. After all, the Lord created you for Himself and you will never, ever be whole without Him. You can fight that till your dying day but you cannot change what a sovereign God has done. So don't fight it--fix it. Turn to Jesus, repent of your sins (you've committed plenty of them, as have I) and get the most important decision you can ever make decided. Then find a church-home where you can be fed, find fellowship, be nurtured and grow. I care--that's why I'm telling you this. Don't neglect it--it only leads to much sorrow.
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