Would I burst into flames?
I grew up in the 80s, the time of the New Romantics; time to look moody while
still wanting the yuppie lifestyle. I had a deep hatred of religion: it seemed to
cause conflict all over the world. I would never have gone looking for God. But one day in 2001, God came looking for me.
I had been living with my girlfriend Katy (now my wife) for 10 years. She had taught me how to make money. We were living in a big house with fast cars, but instead of feeling fulfilled, we were left feeling cold, empty, and weary.
One day Katy saw a poster saying, ‘What is the meaning of life?’ It floored her. That same day my daughter had asked me, ‘God is real, isn’t he Daddy?’ I should have said, ‘No’. But I felt compelled to say ‘Yes’. That must have come from God, as such a thought had never entered my mind before. For days I struggled with what on earth had made me say that. Then Katy enrolled us both on a Christian basics course at a local church.
The evening of the first session came. I was convinced I would burst into flames at the door. Yet the young minister talked with such passion for the Bible and for Jesus. He exhibited such love, peace and grace that I left feeling I had been looking in all the wrong places for fulfilment.
For all my wealth and success, I felt poor and empty against this man and his gospel of the Lord Jesus. As I read the Bible for the first time, it was clear that Jesus wasn’t a fan of religion either. In fact he came to rescue people from its grip. To crowds who had come looking for God, he said, ‘Come, all you who are weary, and I will give you rest’. Not, ‘All you who are trying to earn your way to heaven’, but sinners like me.
That is what is so amazing. We don’t deserve Jesus’ love, but we get it. Then he gives us the strength to love him, whom we once hated. May I commend him to you.