I was not born into a Christian family. Yes, my father was a Christian when he married my mother and my mother later became a Christian after I was about 7 years old. Nevertheless, there was nothing specifically Christian, as far as I can remember, about the manner my parents taught my elder brother and me during my childhood days. Yet there was nothing corrupt about it either. My family was just an ordinary family, where courtesy and morality were taught, as ordinary as you would expect in any well-mannered oriental family.
I couldn’t remember how I first got the notion of God or when I first thought or said the word “God”—whether it was from my parents, or somewhere else, or from God Himself. My parents enrolled me in a Catholic school and I was there not for long before I moved to a Christian school, simply because the fee was more affordable there. Yet it was there for sure that I learned about God, and how to pray. Even if I cannot recall vividly now, I know that it was then that I heard about Jesus. I wasn’t a bad boy or so I thought, but I didn’t have any difficulty to accept the fact that I was a sinner and would still be a sinner no matter what I did. The idea of Jesus dying for my sins because of His love for sinners like me, touched me, and I accepted what He did for me.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Life was not much different then, after I accepted Jesus into my heart. And it still isn’t either, I feel, even today. I still struggle with sin. I still struggle with hypocrisy. I still struggle to put my own desires under God’s will. I still struggle to let Him control my life. I still struggle to love others. I still struggle to love God. In fact, all those struggles seem more intense than ever. All these, honestly, sometimes make me wonder whether I have really believed in Him. It also makes me think that, if I had never heard about Jesus, wouldn’t my life have been the same as it is now, if not better off?
Well, it could be. A Christian life, I found, is indeed not an easy life. It requires a lot of denials. It is a life of faith, 24 hours a day. But then, what is life without faith? What is seeing without believing? It will just be a deadly circle of skepticism, without any way out. And after all, is it benefits that I seek out of life—whether this life is better than that one, or whether putting my faith in some things would make me a better person than if I were to put my faith in some other things? It is God’s sovereignty to do what he pleases, and it is His providence should I go through all the difficulties in life. When grace found me, I simply had no other choice than to accept it. And that grace would continue to have me; calling me back should I wander away and holding me up should I fall.
“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.”
I am grateful that God found me. Though I am still learning to trust my life wholly in God, I cannot imagine trusting my life in anything other than Him, be it things in life, or even myself, who is certainly far from perfect. Seen from my own eyes, my life could be all right without God. But it is never what God had intended to be. If man were to live without God, He would never need to come and shed His blood on the cross. But God did that for me and you, so that through His death we may die to sin and through His resurrection we may live for Him. And so, isn’t it wonderful that when our lives on earth are over, we shall be with Him forever? My prayer is that grace will find you, too.
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- April 5, 2005 / 03:21