Thought For Today: 1 Corinthians 15:10
“By the grace of God, I am what I am.” I Corinthians 15:10
The writer and journalist Anne Wroe said in a recent interview about her life and work that she couldn’t “recall a time when God and Jesus didn’t loom very large in life.” That goes, I suppose, for many of us who had the privilege of being brought up by parents who were themselves committed followers of Jesus.
Maybe we later put all that to one side, for a whole host of reasons, but returned after a time. Or maybe we have never yet returned, and, looking at what turned us away in the first place, cannot see ourselves ever doing so.
Then there are others who pass all their formative years with no encounter at home or elsewhere with God or any idea of God. If the name of Jesus is ever on their lips it is by way only of an expletive to accompany some extreme of emotion or reaction. But that does not mean there can be no change.
The former Rugby International, Jason Robinson, writes frankly of a broken and chaotic life from his childhood years and into early adulthood. Eventually, when his life was pretty much at rock bottom, he encountered the quiet witness and deep-felt faith of his fellow player Inga Tuigamala. His settled contentment with his life, not fuelled by all the empty pleasures where Jason looked for fulfilment, challenged him. He watched him from day to day, describing him as “the only person I knew who genuinely enjoyed his life.” Largely through that encounter, and then meeting some Christian friends of Inga’s, Jason came to a very real faith in Jesus of his own.
There are as many stories of the journey to faith in Jesus as there are people who have made it. Some will have several similarities, while others will be in marked contrast. More important than the route is the arrival point. What opens the door to God’s work of love in our lives is to meet the one in whom he reaches out to us and takes our lives into his own. As Jesus himself said, the life of eternity, that nothing on earth can destroy, is found in knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he sent.
So it’s good to share our stories with others and compare notes. But what draws and holds us together like nothing else is the discovery that we can each testify to an encounter with Jesus Christ and the change that has made, and continues to make, to our lives. It may grow from living as long as we can remember in an environment where that was the normal thing or it may be dramatic and mark a real transition from life as it was before to how it became afterwards. The important thing is that it is there.