Zonia

God Has Been With Me In Everything

 

Growing up I was very aware of God being there and watching over me – that just as

my parents were displeased with my bad behaviour, so was he. One evening, as my

mum was saying goodnight to us, I asked her how I could be sure of going to heaven.

She told me that God could not allow sin into heaven but Jesus had died in my place in order that my sin could be forgiven.

I needed to confess that I was a sinner and ask him to forgive me because of what Jesus had done on my behalf. God would hear my prayer. I realised I had to do something about this, so I prayed for the forgiveness I knew I needed. I was surprised that I felt no different, although I am not sure what I was expecting. But I simply believed I had been forgiven.

I had been given a New Testament and I started to read it. I felt I should listen in school assemblies. I also remember that at Christmas when we sang the usual carols I understood the words in a new way:

Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel...
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.[1]

Then the Easter hymn:

He died that we might be forgiven,
he died to make us good,
that we might go at last to heaven,
saved by his precious blood.[2]

I had always enjoyed Christmas but now I realised that this was what it was all about. I was so thankful that Jesus came and I understood why he did. It was not just a nice story. It was a great and painful sacrifice and I was included among those he came to save!

When I went to secondary school, God provided me with a Christian form teacher. She invited me to a Christian group she led. There I began to learn more about the Bible. I began to attend a church. I was hungry to learn and delighted at all I was finding out. I was amazed at how Christ is everywhere in the Bible – even the parts written before he lived.

I started making time every day to pray and study the Bible before I set out in the morning. I realised I should be baptised to show what God had done for me.

As I look back on my life I see how God has been with me in everything. All the joys, hardships and sorrows have been part of his plan to make me like my Saviour. It is a lifelong work! I have grown more aware of just how serious a problem my sin is. I struggle daily with temptation and fail regularly, but: ‘If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’[3] I thank God that he will complete the work he has begun in me.

 

[1] From ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ by C.F. Alexander

[2] From ‘There is a Green Hill Far Away’ by C. F. Alexander

[3] 1 John 1:9, The Bible

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