Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Anniversary

                                       


Thirty three years ago today I asked a question that changed my life.

I had gone to visit my sister in South Carolina.  I was about to turn 19, and up to this moment, was a relatively happy young woman.  I was going to junior college, after having graduated from high school the summer before.  Living at home with my parents...my life seemed to be fine.

Then I went to South Carolina.  My sister and her fiancee' were getting ready to go to church, and asked me if I wanted to go along.  I liked church...hadn't gone on a regular basis for a few years, but I thought, sure, why not?

I looked up to my sister, Patti.  Still do.  She was such a happy person. Unlike myself, who was very introverted.  Painfully shy...I found it very hard to speak to people I didn't know.  We went to church, and I watched, as during the service they participated in the Lord's Supper.  I observed Patti, as she ate the bread that represented the Body of Christ.  She had a look of ultimate peace upon her face.  I quietly thought, "I want that.  I want peace.  It was if I knew there was something missing in my life.  I was happy...but I didn't have joy.  I wanted it.  So quietly, I prayed, "Can I have it?  Please God, take over my life and give me that peace."

At that moment, I knew something was different.  It was like I could not get enough of trying to know God on an intimate level.  I got my Bible out, that I had received when I was 8 years old.  I had tried to read it before, but didn't understand it.  The words made more sense now, but the translation was a bit difficult.  My grandfather gave me a Bible that was easier to understand.  I found a church in the area, and began to attend and learn.  Things started to make sense.  It seemed like the more I sought to learn about God, the more I knew Who He was. 

That was thirty three years ago.  The journey still continues.  I still have that same peace that I received that first day of January in 1979. Unbeknownst to me at the time, but it was the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in me.   It was not only the first day of a new year...it was the first day of the beginning of a new life for me...a rebirth.  That's not to say that I haven't gone through tough times.  I have gone through more than my share...but through it all, I knew that I wasn't alone.  I had Someone that held my hand through it all.  Someone who held me up when I couldn't go on under my own power.

And that shy, young girl who couldn't talk to people?  I was slowly transformed into a brave woman, who has no qualms about speaking, and at times even singing in front of a large crowd.  I couldn't do any of that changing on my own...it was a supernatural metamorphesis.  It was God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 states that if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation.  The old has passed away and they are a new person.  It may sound like an impossible trick, but I have experienced that on a deep and personal level.  It's not a trick, it is true and very real.  And it began with a question. 
"Can I have that peace?"

The answer was a resounding, "YES!"  If you ask the same question, it is guaranteed you will get the same answer.  Luke 11:9 states "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."  Notice that there are no conditions.  It's not dependant upon how much money you have, or how good you are, or what religion you are affiliated with.  It says simply to ask.

Do you feel something missing in YOUR life?  The answer lies in a simple question.

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