I would like to share with you a very special experience I had in my life. It is my prayer that it would be an encouragement to all of you.
I was very fortunate to grow up in a loving Christian home. My parents were very concerned of the well-being of their children. We went to church on a regular basis and it was important to attend.
I remember getting saved as a child and the peace and happiness that filled my soul was amazing.
But as time went on I found it hard to live a victorious Christian life. I struggled a lot with anger and pride. I neglected reading my Bible and taking time for prayer. I remember being so tired of always falling and getting back up spiritually. I am so thankful for the patience that the Lord had with me.
As I got into my teens I realized that I was missing something in my life. Even though I was serving the Lord, the strength to serve Him victoriously just wasn’t there.
One Sunday afternoon I was talking with a friend about receiving the Holy Spirit. I had often thought about this, especially after hearing different messages on this topic. I knew there was something lacking in my life, but wasn’t ready to give up everything and let God totally take control of my life.
On this particular Sunday afternoon God really spoke to my heart. He opened my eyes and I realized that if I wanted to have a victorious life I needed to dedicate my life to Him.
The longing to have this was so strong that I could hardly wait until I could spend some time alone with God. I remember kneeling down by my window in my bedroom and looking out into the dark night and pleading with God and asking Him to please fill this void that was in my heart. I wanted this so badly that I was determined not to leave this place until I had experienced what I was lacking. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was crying out to God and telling Him that I was willing to give Him everything, my whole life no matter what happened, and was willing to let go of anything that I was hanging onto if I could only have this void filled in my life with something that was worth living for.
What happened next is hard to describe. It was as if the window opened up wide and I heard God speaking to me and telling me: “I heard your prayer. I have fulfilled this empty void in your life, you just need to believe.” I hesitated for a moment and thought, “Is this for real?” But then again I heard it so clear. My heart seemed to skip a beat. And at that moment I was filled with such joy and peace that I cannot describe. I had never in my life experienced anything like it before. And I knew it was for real. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Lord had answered my prayer. The overwhelming joy and peace that filled my soul at that moment was so wonderful and so satisfying. God came so near to me it was as if He was standing right beside me. I had a hard time sleeping that night. I wanted to tell the whole world who God really was and what He had done for me.
I wish I could say that from that moment on I always had victory and that my life was easy sailing. Unfortunately, that was not the case. God never promised us an easy life if we dedicate our life to Him. But one thing was very clear to me. Giving up was never an option and I can’t see it ever being one. How could I, after what He had done for me. And I realized the importance of having a close relationship with my Heavenly Father. I saw the importance of spending time with Him. After that experience I never had to face challenges and disappointments in my life on my own. It was God who helped me through it all. My life was changed forever. It would never be the same. Praise God.
I am so grateful for this experience that I had with my loving Father on that Sunday night. I don’t know what I would have done in my life had I not had this experience to look back on again and again and remind myself of Who it was that I served.
As I reflect on all this which happened over 30 years ago, I can only say that I never dreamed of how much I would gain by giving my life to God. I was able to make some very important decisions in my life with Him. Or better yet, God made them for me. God gave me a wonderful husband, blessed us with two wonderful children, a wonderful son-in-law, and two precious grandchildren – a family that wants to serve God. I have an amazing church family that I can worship God together with. I never want to take this for granted.
My heart goes out to those who don’t have the privilege or don’t know of a loving God they can depend on when they go through hard times. It is my prayer that I could continue to serve Him the way He wants me to and that this peace and joy would never leave my heart but that I could grow in Him and be and example for those around me.
I can’t wait for the day when I will stand before God and see Him face-to-face.
We serve a powerful God.