Three blissful, painful, and incredibly miraculous years. You see, I was saved at the age of fifteen but I haven’t always let the Lord lead the way. In fact many of those years I was living a life of rebellion. I was navigating life on my own strength and I’m still living with the repercussions of my sin to this very day.
I was living a life that is all too familiar for many of us. I had a heart that believed in God but I didn’t want to live for God. What I mean by that is that I was having too much fun being in the world. I live in a city that is littered with sin. Drinking, gambling, night life, and that is only the tip of the iceberg. I live in Las Vegas and I was doing what the Las Vegans do. I was partying.
I was like a ship tossed back and forth on the sea. One day I was out looking for worldly gratification and the next I was repentant and crying out to God because married life was a disaster. It was a cocktail of chaos. Every day I was slipping deeper and deeper into a pit of despair. I literally found myself so deep in misery that I started to resent God. I started blaming Him for all that was going wrong in my life and my heart began to grow hard. I can remember the actual feeling of hopelessness. It was awful and I was actually getting scared. How could I let myself get to this place. I could remember the days when I was seeking God wholeheartedly, reading the word, and serving at Church. I felt like God would never take me back and that I would just be left to my own devices. That is exactly what I deserved. Oh, but how many of you know that our Lord Jesus loves us more than we can even fathom? Have you been in that pit?
The enemy was planting twisted seeds of deception into my mind. He began telling me that I was too messed up for anyone to love, especially the Almighty God. I made the mistake of buying into that lie. I was trying to wing it by keeping one foot in with the world and the other in church. The problem with that way of living is that our God is a jealous God who wants us all to Himself. He wants us to be all or nothing.
Those are pretty strong words from an all powerful God and the threat was definitely real. For whatever reason those words were ingrained in me and even at my darkest points I would think about them.
I can compare this verse to my love of coffee. Having my morning coffee is one of my favorite morning routines as I’m sure many of you can relate to. The thing is that even though I adore this coffee of mine it either has to be served steamy hot or icy cold. There is no in-between. If I let that hot coffee sit at my desk for too long sipping on that stuff can be pretty cringe-worthy. So I see what God is saying here. I had been sitting too long…I was now stagnant.
There I was, me in my lukewarm state driving to work one day. I was defeated and stuck in a mess I had created. I was tired of fighting and too broken to fix anything on my own. Nothing seemed to be going right and I knew what the answer was. I knew WHO the answer was. Jesus.
I came to the sudden realization that I was waiting for an answer that would never come by relying on my own strength. I had felt the truth before, I knew the truth. So why was I staying away? What was keeping me from being sold out for God? It may have been sin, fear, or pride. Maybe it was all of the above. All I knew at that moment was I was done with the stale promises of the world.
I broke into tears and on that highway and I prayed. I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed for a new walk and a new way of life. I would no longer hold back. I prayed a prayer of being completely sold out for Jesus. All I wanted was to be like Him, to feel Him, and to once again hear Him speaking into my life. I was ready to serve Him without looking back. Then something happened…
Yes, that quick!
I was restored just as He promised I would be. God did what He does best and gave me a second chance after I had already had too many to count. He showed me mercy when I didn’t deserve it and gave me courage when I was too frail to fight.
Now things are completely different and life has taken on a whole new meaning. Not only has He redeemed me but He has given me a new song. My relationship with Jesus is now stronger than it has ever been and I am so grateful that He chose me. He has created beauty from ashes. The most beautiful thing is that the promise is reserved for you too. You don’t have to stay stuck in the mud, you can choose today to be rescued. Let the Lord pull you out of your mess.