Growing closer to God

Growing closer to God

My Nickel’s Worth

When I was a young child, I gave my life to Christ.  I really had no idea what this meant other than the fact that I knew I needed Him to forgive me of my sins and give me a home in heaven when I left this world.  I did not know what was required of living for Christ, and I certainly never imagined that living for the Lord would be challenging and rewarding at the same time.

In elementary school, when all of the other guys were looking at pornography and starting to use profanity, I chose to be different.  I didn’t want to use that type of language, and I didn’t want to see those images in my mind of ungodly things.  This didn’t make me very popular, but I knew in my heart that remaining pure was what the Lord had called me to do.

Junior High was even worse.  Most of the guys in my class were into terrible things , and they mocked my innocence, and I spent many lunches and locker room times alone or being the butt of someone’s jokes.  I tried to fit in, I played sports, I was in student council, and I never judged anyone or said anything to them about their lifestyle or morality, and yet, because I didn’t participate in their sins, they resented it.  Yet, I felt surrounded by the love of my family and knew the Lord was protecting me from difficult times.  When we walked through tough times as a family, we all put our trust in the Lord and that He had a plan for us.  I always knew He was in control, and this gave me such peace.

In high school, I found my people.  I made friends, dated, and even led some others to know Christ and His love.  I was not popular, but I didn’t care.  I knew the Lord had plans for me, and I was watching my classmates fall into things which, in some cases, eventually destroyed their lives.  I was sad for them and continued to pray they would find the Lord.  My life has had many struggles, but I never doubted God’s love for me, and I continued to live my life for Him.  Through the difficult times, my relationship with Christ grew.  I didn’t allow myself to become bitter—I became better.

My college experience was amazing.  I had many friends who were also committed to Christ.  We were close friends, and as we struggled with organic chemistry and accounting classes, we prayed for one another and prayed through our trials.  When my family walked through an incredibly difficult time, I watched them pray and pray for the Lord to show them His will, and I saw how they still loved each other and my sister and me, and no matter what the world threw at us, we had each other and the peace and joy that only Christ can bring.

One thing I have learned through all of this is that struggles increase our faith and bring us closer to Christ, if we place our trust in Him.  Life is never easy; in fact, sometimes life feels so unfair and tragic, yet we know that God is holding us in His hands, and in the storms of life, we must allow our faith to increase and continue to seek His will, read His word, pray, worship, and serve.  Only then will the struggles bring a rich closeness to Christ.