The semester after graduating from high school, I left home with a gaping hole in my life. I had been a part of a church for the three years prior and as I headed to college, I knew beyond any doubt that I was missing something. I had watched the lives of a few of my fellow church members and saw an intangible something that I just didn’t have, but was desperate to find.
It was like I was looking at a puzzle and missing a piece, right in the center. I had looked for it, but it remained illusive. I knew what that piece looked like, but I had no idea how to get it.
That fall I befriended a girl who shared something so huge that my life has never been the same since. She told me that God loved me and had a great plan for my life. She told me that the problem was that my sin separates me from God, and prevents me from experiencing God’s love and plan. Sin is like the Grand Canyon between God and me, and no matter how hard I try or how hard I train, I will never be able to jump that space on my own.
She showed me that the Bible says that because I can’t get to Him, He had to get to me, and He did it through Jesus. Jesus’ death and resurrection from the dead provided a bridge over the canyon so that I could have a relationship with God.
Here’s where it got good. She showed me that to believe these things is essential, but not enough. I needed to make a once and for all, all-in, decision to make Jesus my Lord. She explained it like this: my life was a car and right then, I was driving the car. I needed to get out, walk around to the passenger seat and let Jesus drive the car. I had to give up control.
This was it. It’s what I was missing, and I knew it. I had been working so hard to get myself over that canyon by going to church and trying to do the “right” thing. I had exhausted myself trying to feel better and be better. And all I had to do was give up. What a glorious discovery that was!
So that’s what I did. I gave up. I let Jesus drive. And I’ve never looked back. Not once.
When I gave my life to Jesus, I started a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. I never could have imagined such a wonderful, intimate thing. I’ve discovered peace that is beyond words. I’ve discovered joy and love and hope. And oh, the freedom!
I’m still very much a work in progress. I have many faults, not the least of which are vanity, pride and selfishness. But the great thing is that life is a journey to becoming more like Jesus. God does the work – I just have to stick close to His side. And that’s exactly where I’m staying.