When God Became Real
The first segment of chapter 1 of From Darkness into Light
When God Became Real
I was born into a Christian family, baptized by immersion when I was thirteen, attended a Christian boarding academy for my high school years, went to Christian college, married a Christian man in a Christian ceremony, but I didn’t meet my Savior until my 37th birth year. How can this be you might be asking? But really, is my story any different from yours except for where we happen to be on the paths of righteousness? David said in Psalm 23; “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” When you study this scripture from a Hebrew perspective you know that your walk with YHVH is a yearly cycle of seven feasts ordained for us to keep by YHVH. Our yearly walk is not a linear line from point A to point B being the end result, but a spiral, going around and up; each season drawing us into more and more intimate relationship with our Creator/Redeemer. But I get ahead of myself…
Like a lot of Christians I was not taught that YHVH has a FACE, but whether consciously or unconsciously, I was only taught to seek His hand. His hands are for giving me whatever I need, want or desire; all I have to do is ask Him. He is my fairy god-mother with a magic wand, or my very own cosmic vending machine into which I put my quarter request and out pops my desire giving me what I want. Right? Wrong!
The church I grew up in was all about works; as a child I would lie on my bed at night fearfully rummaging through my day to make sure I hadn’t done some grievous thing that I had not asked forgiveness for, because if I died – you all know the prayer; now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take; and I had done something bad that day that I had not ask the Lord to forgive me for then I would go to hell. Simple as that! My childhood was dominated by hell not heaven, even though heaven was what we all wanted, what we yearned for, but hell was our fate if we stepped off that very narrow, rocky, difficult path.
In spite of all this I loved church, Vacation Bible School, evangelistic meetings, Christian school, Vesper programs, all of it. I was dedicated to doing the “right” thing; no drinking, no drugs, no smoking, no gambling, no pornography, no sex before marriage, no foul language, no dancing, no theater going, eating vegetarian and keeping Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. Surely the Lord would honor me for my good works and allow me to enter His beautiful, heavenly kingdom, but there was no assurance of my salvation. I desperately wanted to be righteous, but I kept falling into pits, the miry clay wouldn’t release me, doubts tormented me, I could never do enough to hit the high bar of salvation through good deeds that I had set for myself and I knew that if I wasn’t satisfied with my life then neither was my Lord.
I went to church, I taught in the children’s classes, I joined prayer circles, listened to Christian music, passed out literature, gave money, cooked food, went on visitations, read my Bible, but it was all little comfort to me. Something in me wanted something more; I just knew there was something more, if only I could figure out what. Where to turn, what to look for, I did not know and so very slowly, ever so imperceptibly the void, the ache in me begin to be filled with other things, not so honoring things, disgraceful things, things I deeply regret. When scripture records that the sins of the fathers are to the third and fourth generation I understand that scripture now. By our actions and attitudes we perpetuate the original sin of Adam and Eve. The enemy of the brethren has only three to four generations in each family line to keep his covenant of evil alive and well. If a family can establish a righteous branch through three to four generations then the enemy of the brethren has to start afresh with temptations of various evil schemes to get that family line back in covenant with him. The longer the family line resists the stronger their believing heritage becomes, the easier it is for their descendants to live in righteousness. Did I know this when my children were young? No. Do I see the fruit of my actions, whether great or small in their lives today? Yes, I have regrets, but I also now know and whole-heartedly believe that the earnest and fervent prayers of a righteous woman availeth much! My friend prays for her wandering children and grandchildren this way; “Father, raise the bottom of their pit so they don’t have to fall too far before they hit bottom and then look up and see Your Face.” Hallelujah! The shed blood of Y’Shua is enough!
In my mid-thirties YHVH began shaking my world. I had been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in my late twenties and by the time I was in my mid-thirties I could hardly drive a car without losing all feeling in my hands and arms. Sleeping was becoming more and more difficult as my arms would become numb and lifeless during the night causing me to wake up feeling like I had two dead tree limbs attached to my body. I learned to do some exercises that gave me some relief, but outside of surgery there was nothing that could be done. I was desperate. “God,” I called out, “please help me.” “I am becoming more and more unable to even take care of the simplest tasks, brushing my hair or my teeth are getting almost impossible to do, won’t you please help me!”
He was still only a fairy god-mother or a cosmic vending machine to me, I didn’t know Him as anything else, but He was about to reveal Himself to me in ways that I could never have imagined. I look back on my life now and I thank Him for every minute of it for without all the struggles and trails and tribulations I would never have met Him! And He is worth getting to know! How little I still know and how much more I want to know HIM!
to be continued…