My story starts the same as a lot of believer’s might. I grew up in a homeschooling Christian family, went to church every week, and understood biblical principles since as far back as I can remember. I accepted Jesus when I was tiny and accepted again when my parents decided I was old enough to understand the Romans road.
But every story is different.
I was one of the good kids. I rarely lied, stole or cheated… and when I did; I felt bad and made it right with God and the person involved. I praised God when good things happened and I thanked Him for what I had when bad things happened. I was what some people would call a “good Christian”. As I grew older, I held the same standard. When I sinned, I confessed and made it right while working on myself to be a better person. I went through hard times and good times, thanking and praising Him.
My story isn’t about being redeemed from a rebelling stage where I hated God and thought it fit to waste my life away with drugs or with alcohol.
But my story is just as cool.
It was a warm October Saturday. Life was good. It was 21:00- Dad had just put my Baby brothers to sleep, My sister was in bed and my Mom was due to come home from her day out any minute. I decided to chat to some of my friends on WhatsApp.
I was having a great time! Chatting about complete nonsense… when I heard shuffling outside. But like in most bad dramatic stories, I ignored it. My Dog growled next to me, but I took no notice.
Then my Mom arrived. She unlocked the door and then screamed. My Dad ran to find out what had happened, only to find a gun pointed at his head.
From my bed, I had a limited understanding of the situation. I heard the robbers demanding my parents to tell them where certain valuables were. I heard a lot of groans and shuffles, and I assumed that they were tying up my parents and sister.
I was in the cupboard by now. The moment I heard the scream, I assumed the worst, grabbed my phone, jumped in the cupboard, praying texting for help.
The only problem was that, at that stage, part of my sense of humor involved playing the fool; I played it to a limit, but only realized the extent of it then, in the cupboard, when no one believed me.
Absolutely no one. I tried and prayed for what seemed like hours. I was hopeless. Right in that moment, there in the cupboard, something clicked that never clicked before. I have no control of my life. None whatsoever.
I realized something. I prayed a prayer that went something like this: “God, my life is not mine. It’s yours.”
Then one kid responded.
There are things I will leave unsaid here because of more complex problems. (If you are reading this right now dude, I thank both you and God that you were available to help, and I want you to know that, even though our relationship is tough, I will always appreciate that you were there for us that night.)
I’ll put it like this. There was a minute chance that he would have responded to me, less that he would have the number of a local police reservist, even less that he would contact her and even less than that, that she would have responded to him.
The minutes and hours after this just fell into place. The reservist called the rest of the community watch (that I didn’t know even existed), They arrived, threatened, and the robbers bolted. My parents untied themselves, let the community people in, and we all, still in a state of shock reported the incident to the police.
The more I think about the event, the more it confirms what I realized in the cupboard. My life is not mine. God might be good to me, but it isn’t mine. It’s His life.
He, and only He, is in control.
Since then, I’ve been driven to do God’s work. I would share the gospel when I needed or had to before, but now I look for opportunities to share the gospel. I would do things for his service when I had to before, But now I’m amped to make a change. To do whatever he wants me to do.
That’s my story.
So whoever you are, whatever you’ve been through, whether your standing with God is good or terrible; I challenge you to think about this:
Are you in control of your life? Who does it really belong to? Are you living as if that were true?
Romans 8:38 “For we know that all things work together for good for them who love the Lord.”