Like many, I have for a long time had a deep desire to be pleasing to my heavenly father. As a result, I was faithful to attend church, I tithed more than my 10%, I served in many ministries, went on mission trips, I preached, visited the shut-ins and jails, and knocked countless doors like any good Baptist would, Yet I still felt as if something was missing.
Just as many millions of people across America that profess to have faith in Yeshua (Jesus), I was found more often than not in my place every Sunday morning, evening and Wednesday night. I sat faithfully and attentively as the preacher preached, listening, searching, and trying to find ways in which I could apply to my life what was being said.
I cannot even begin to fathom how many hours of my life were spent in a pew, or by being engaged in some form of ministry and outreach. Most of that time I look back on fondly. The children’s bus ministry is one that will forever be near and dear to my heart. But despite the many hours that I spent listening to others preach, and preparing lessons and sermons myself, something still seemed just outside my grasp.
After experiencing one of the highest “mountain top” experiences that I have ever had spiritually, I was immediately plunged into one of the longest driest “desert” experiences I have yet to go through. In that time, I seriously struggled. My prayer life went from being very strong to near nonexistent. Honestly, I am ashamed to say it, but I felt like I had been abandoned. When I did pray, the heavens seemed as brass, and often the exact opposite of what I asked for would happen.
Looking back, I now understand that the dry valley experience is exactly what I needed. He (YHVH) used that time to break me. And I needed it. He caused me to question everything and everyone, even myself. He kept me very unsettled (I still am to some extent) so I wouldn’t get comfortable and slip back in to old habits. And when He finally got me to the point where I was no longer trusting others for my spiritual growth, He softened my heart to His will.
So I had finally reached the point that I had had enough, and in desperation I cried out for His truth. Anything! Everything! Something! I just wanted truth. I was sick of the facades, the shallowness of modern Christianity. I was weary of the procedures and the “order of service”. I was disgusted by things that I had personally witnessed those who claimed to be given the “call to preach” say and do. So, there I was, alone. Well at least I thought I was…
Truth is He never left me. He was right there giving me a lesson that I so desperately needed. And it was through that lesson that I discovered the front of my Bible. And buddy was I in for a treat!
To be continued…