being free

I like being free. I like the way it feels.

27 December 2010


Have you ever had a conversation that resulted in personal reflection and introspection? Well, I had one of those on Christmas night. Over a nice fondue dinner (thank you Lindy) with our neighbor's, conversation turned towards how I got into ministry, which lead me to explain how I became a Christian. You see, I didn't grow up a Christian or in per say a Christian home. I didn't believe in Jesus or even know much about him. It wasn't until later in life that I learned about God's salvation in Jesus and as a result decided to place my faith in him. Telling my story on Christmas night got me thinking about how much my life has changed because of Jesus. I started thinking about where life would have taken me without the knowledge of his salvation.

The day after Christmas I was reading Psalm 40 and came across verse 5, "Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." This verse pertains to Israel, but in a very real way it pertains to my life as well. "Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done." God has done many wonders in my life, too many to declare, but here are a few:

Before learning of the gospel (the message of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection) I lacked meaning, purpose, and direction. In the gospel I discovered a God who loved me and created me with a purpose. I discovered I was created to live in a relationship with Him and to glorify him by reflecting his likeness on earth.

Before the gospel I struggled with negative self image, negative thinking patterns, and low self esteem. In the gospel I found a God who loved me, accepted me, and forgave me. I discovered that God wanted me, that in Christ he purchased me, and in doing so he adopted me into his family. I was given a new identity. I was now a child of God, he had become my Father, and I his son.

Before the gospel I lacked peace. I was confused, insecure, and discontent. In the gospel I found peace. The God of the universe, who is Peace, now dwelt in my heart. I didn't have to search for peace, it was now in me. Not only did I have peace in me, I discoverd the God of the Bible is good. I could trust in him. I could rest in his love and nothing could shake that.

Before the gospel I lacked joy and happiness. Because of my confusion, fear, and lack of meaning I didn't have inner joy. Sure I sought happiness in "things" whether it was experiences, drugs, or people. What I didn't have was a deep and abiding joy. In the gospel I found the joy I lacked. Because of God's forgiveness I not only had His peace in me, I also had His joy in me. I began to experience true happiness. I started waking up with songs of praise in my heart. It bubbled up from within me. Something I had never experienced before.

Before the gospel I had an impatient and judgmental attitude towards people. In the gospel I discovered that God loved all people. I discovered that I was just as sinful as the next guy and because I needed forgiveness I should extend forgiveness. I started to see people through eyes of compassion rather than eyes of judgment. I began to care for them because God cared for them. I began to desire helping them know the love God had for them.

Lastly, before the gospel I lacked hope. Life was meaningless. It was an accident, an evolutionary fluke. Not only that but it was a selfish world. Humans were destroying the earth, people were suffering from loneliness and injustice. The strong survived the weak died. And for what point? Why would I ever want to bring children into such a world? That was my thinking. In the gospel however I found something different. I discovered a God who cared. Life wasn't meaningless. Our Creator reached out to us. In Christ he showed us a different way to live and through His Spirit empowers us to live differently. In Christ I learned that God took the nature of a servant. He is our model. If we serve and love one another and the creation as he did there is hope for the world. Additionally there was also hope that Jesus would return. He would one day come to right all wrongs. He would restore all things to their intended purpose.

All these things and many more have shaped the course of my life. They have given me a purpose to live for. They have led me to mental health and wholeness. They have guided me into a career of serving others. They have led me to committing my life to a woman in marriage. They have helped me keep the marriage strong. They have given me confidence in raising children, knowing that there is both meaning and hope for them. This list could go on and on. The miracles and transformations that have occurred in me are too numerous to list.

I am forever grateful for what God had done in my life. I dread to think what my life would be without him. Glory be to God.


At 10:03 AM, Blogger Herman van Vuren said...

Todd, I always have been encouraged by your honesty, keep up the good work. Be blessed, Herman


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