Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?

Isaiah 43:13 (NIV)

When I first became a Christian I didn’t think about my salvation very much. As I wrote yesterday, I knew that God loved me and His love was never going to go away. I did, however, want to tell others of this amazing love. Of this life that we could all live if we only embraced God and lived for Him. As I walked through some very tough trials, I don’t recall seeing them as tough. Although, I remember being told often by my pastor that “better men” would have stumbled and fallen. I saw what I walked through as merely something that had to be done. I had the faith that whatever it was that I was going through in my life would work out. Or did I?

In just a few short weeks my 15th anniversary of being saved will be upon me. As I think back over the last fifteen years I stand in awe over what God has done. I also stand with deep-rooted pain. So much has happened in my life during these years that I would never have expected. Indeed, there have been so many bad things that have happened that my breath is taken away when I think about them. I am not the man that I once was. The man that walked through those earlier trials doing “what needed to be done.” No, I am a stronger man who is aware. I am aware of the pain and suffering in life and know that I cannot walk this path without the grace of God. On this long and sometimes dark road of faith, I have a better understanding of the marathon that I am running.

While I have always been aware of the pain and suffering in life I have not received it in the same way. Before I was saved, the pain and suffering would often build up to a point where I wanted to end my life. However, I was very stubborn and never wanted to give in. Giving in was quitting and I wasn’t a quitter, I thought. Yes, I’d say that it was my pride that kept me alive, all of those years, except it wasn’t. I know that it was God. Oh yes, I was prideful. It was my pride that should have done me in. Except for the grace of God.

There’s something funny about the grace of God. Sometimes, it seems, that those who need it the most don’t realize when they’ve received it. As a Believer, I can recognize His grace. I never saw it, however, in my life before Christ. But it was there. I can look back and I see it. When my pride reached a point where I could do more, and I thought that I couldn’t go on with my life, the grace of God was there. It was by His grace, that on that day, when I waved, “goodbye” to the world, that I did not die. I should have and God knows that I tried. That’s the irony though, as I have mentioned. I didn’t see the next day as the gift that it was. I thought that the feeling that I had, the feeling that something had died, was because I had killed it.

I love writing poetry. There was a time when I could sit down and write and write. My mind was so full that I had to write it down. I wrote about everything. It seemed, so often, that I could look at the slightest gesture, a shift in the eyes, and capture it on the page. The world, and everything in it, was my muse. Surely, I thought, as long as I am alive, I have something to write about. That changed, the day after. My mind was no longer filled with wonder. With the sights that I had seen, keeping me up at night. My heart bleeding for the world seemed to have stopped. The love and pain that I felt, that drove me to see life, as I had seen it, that filled me with such heartache, filling page after page, was quiet. I still saw beauty. I saw love and pain. They just didn’t seem to leave the same mark.

When I used to be so filled to write, as I once did, I had an awareness that it wasn’t me who birthed the things that I wrote. That the source came from somewhere else. What I never realized was that all I could see, all that I felt, that the gift of empathy that I had, was from God. I, however, wasn’t sanctified and ready to receive and use that gift in the way that God intended. Our faith and our salvation are also gifts from God. When we are saved, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We become the vessels that can receive the gifts that God has given. As a new creation, the only way that we can lose that salvation is if the vessel is destroyed.

As I walk, today, with the Lord, I have an awareness of my faith. I try not to take it for granted. I know that everything in my life will work out. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to work out in the way that I would expect, and I’m okay with that, because my life, like yours, isn’t in your hands, but the Fathers, and He knows what He’s doing.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.