I became a Christian at the age of twelve. From my earliest memories, my mother had taken my older sister, my younger brother and myself to the Sunday school at the local church. As I grew up I became increasingly disinterested in what was being said and sought to play along with any mischief others created at the expense of those running the Sunday school. When I reached secondary school age (eleven years old) my mother, whether sensing that the task of persuading me to go was becoming more difficult, wisely or otherwise gave me the choice to carry on going or not. I chose the latter. I had made up my mind that whatever the Bible had to say was not important nor relevant to me and the church was for old people and not for my generation. I instead chose to play football with my friends and as far as I was concerned God, the Bible and the church was not for me. I was very simply not in the least interested. I did not hate religion or God or the Bible but I was indifferent to whatever Jesus Christ had come to do. However, there were questions that started to surface not long after about the meaning and purpose of life and about death and what lay beyond. With increasing frequency and intensity these questions came to me and I found no comfort in the life I was living. During this time a new minster had come to the local church, who, as I learnt afterwards, was preaching the Gospel. A number of young people were converted including my sister. I didn’t understand what this all meant except my sister had become “religious” or a “Bible Basher”. I can remember my parents being alarmed at the talk of being “born again”, “being saved” and “coming to know the Lord”. It seemed to them something strange and even cultish. I let it all go over my head and carried on supposing that this was my sister just being a troubled teenager. However, for some reason she gave me a book to read called ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’. She knew nothing of the thoughts going on in my head, no one did, not even my parents. I didn’t want to speak about them to anyone. As I read the book I began to see that although it was about gang warfare and drugs etc. in New York, the gang leader Nicky Cruz was seeking answers to the very questions I had. Through a preacher called David Wilkerson he found that Jesus Christ was the answer. I too saw the same thing. I can remember finishing the book and alone in my bedroom kneeling down and for the first time in my life praying using my own words pleading with the Lord to save me from my sins and to change my life. I wanted Jesus Christ above everything. After I went and told my sister about what had happened and she was overjoyed. I wasn’t at all certain about what had happened although I knew that something had changed. As I awoke the next morning I began to pray and as I opened the Bible and began to read it I found myself understanding it and as it were speaking to me. As it says in Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 18, “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened”. It was that the Lord had opened the eyes of my understanding. As John Newton’s hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ says in the first verse,
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I'm found.
Was blind but now I see.”
I was one who was blind but now I see. Jesus Christ has changed my life. What I had previously counted as being of no importance and irrelevant is now worth everything and more. It has continued to be so. I have never regretted turning to the Lord and giving Him my life. I am overwhelmed by His love, mercy and grace to a poor sinner like me. Of a truth, He is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” and that “no one can come to the Father except through Him” [John chapter 14 verse 6].
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” [John chapter 10 verse 10]
To Him be the glory.