Today, I received some great news. The news is pretty fantastic and is a fulfillment of a long-term goal that I have had for many years. It in no way completes all of the goals that I have set for myself in this life, but it certainly is a monumental milestone. It is because of this news that I have taken a great deal of time to reflect on my life. It has provided me with a chance to look back and try to make sense of things as they have transpired over the last 49 years. Mainly as it relates to my relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I can remember as a kid trying to understand God and His nature. I will never forget the first time I went to a church where I felt His presence and realized, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He was real. He was not only real, but tangible, in that His presence could be felt, His voice could be heard, and following His guidance, in time, brought reward. These lessons learned have not come without confusion. For as I have followed His lead I have experienced some pretty perplexing realities.
I will never forget to stand in my front yard watching firefighters flood the back porch of my boyhood home, the porch that my mother had set ablaze moments earlier. As the firefighters scrambled to douse the fire, my mother fighting them all the way, I turned to see two young men whom I knew from a local Bible College. They later would become ministers with churches of their own, but at that moment they were laughing as they watched the spectacle unfolding in front of them. No prayer, no Godspeed, just callus laughter unbecoming of the character they feigned. These were guys that I had prayed with, respected, looked up to; now they were in the background seemingly enjoying a comical tragedy at my expense.
I remember going to a church and looking up to a pastor who taught me the truth and gave me the strong foundation of Biblical knowledge on which I still build. A few years after leaving that church, I met a young lady who was friends with that pastor’s family, who was also related to another minister that I knew well. She showed me a picture of the group swimming together in immodest attire, even though from the pulpit it was adamantly preached against.
I could go on, but I digress; for if I have learned anything through the many things that I have experienced, and I could write a book on experiences alone, I have learned that God is faithful through everything. He is faithful in the face of adversity. He is faithful in the face of failure. He is faithful when others predestinate His grace and mercy in error. He is faithful when we are unfaithful. Yes, He is faithful that promised (Hebrews 10:23).
So as I reflect on these many things, some tragic and some grand, I also realize that none of these things individually or in combination can detract from the truth of God’s Word as it is given by the holy men of God who wrote it. That those who have in some way impacted my life both positively and negatively still have an advocate with the Father who is able to impartially forgive and sustain.
Today, I have received some great news. This news though fantastic does not compare to the greatness of the one who sets all life in order.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).