sleeping child transplanted and still blooming cinthia milner

Being a Christian Because I Needed Some Real Answers

I’m going to talk about being a Christian this morning. (I know, some of you just clicked off.) But stay with me here for a few lines. I’ll keep it short. I’m going to tell you my story, and how I got here.

I wasn’t always a believer. In fact, I was 32 when I became one. I was on top of a mountain, all by myself, having gone for a hike that day, when I began to follow Jesus. He came to me there and asked, “Who do you say I am?” (Not physically for those who are literal like I am.) It was a heart thing and totally unexpected. Up until then, I had said Jesus was likely a good teacher or prophet or some such, but in that second, I said, “You are the Lord.” And, he’s been Lord in my life ever since. No, not perfectly so. I don’t submit to him in everything. I wish I did, and maybe I’ll get there.

As Ruth Bell Graham had put on her tombstone, “Construction is finished. Thank you for your patience.” Amen.

I was at a point that I didn’t want the world to tell me how to think or live anymore. I wanted God to tell me, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I was still looking for a savior in any form (guy on a white horse, a job, a new town, friends, a new dress). Yes, there’s plenty the world can teach me, but the first Sunday School class I went to after becoming a Christian was led by a guy who brought the Sunday newspaper in with him. The idea was that we’d read the headlines and discuss what we thought about world events. But, I didn’t want to know what the people in the class thought (though they were all nice folks), I wanted to know what God thought. Einstein said, “I want to know God, the rest are details.” I was right there with Einstein. I needed God. I needed God to tell me what to do. Other people are in the same boat I’m in. We’re all rowing terribly hard, and getting nowhere fast.

I needed real answers.

By following worldly wisdom, I”d made some superiorly ridiculous decisions. I was 32, exhausted and needed true help. I figured since God created the world, then he had a pretty good idea of how I should live in it.  I was tired of holding the world up. Maybe not the whole world, but, mine.

I remember coming across this verse:

It is vain for you to rise early, come home late, and work so hard for your food. Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep. Psalm 127:2

I read that and took a nap. I’d spent my life trying to maintain control while looking for something that would bring me happiness. Happiness in a world where suffering is the norm is hard to find.

Giving my life over to God, some say, makes me a wimp. Well, call me a wimp.

I got tired of controlling my own destiny, plus it just didn’t make sense. I didn’t even create this life that I live, so that argument is already out the window from the get-go. I came into this world with no effort of my own, it was beginning to make sense that living it as if I created it was even more superiorly crazy. Giving control of it to the one who did create it seemed the only reasonable thing to do. And so, that day on the mountain, I said, out loud, “Well, I’ve made a mess of this life, let’s see what you can do with it.” (Impertinent has always been an issue for me.)

I said I’d keep it short, so I will. The word grace is what I’ll end with. Grace is relief in spades. Grace is God’s way of saying I’ve got you covered. Your life, your screw-ups (hey, guess what, I’m going to use those!), your future (yes, I’ve got a plan), your eternal destiny (yes, eternal), and so you rest. Rest in the grace of knowing I love you and I will take care of you.

Deal.