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  • For nearly 25 years, I wandered.

  • I was born in 1968 to a good family,

  • though we didn't believe in God.

  • In fact, as I grew older, I began to make fun of people thought God was real.

  • I didn’t need somebody else’s make-believe god.

  • I was certain he wasn't there.

  • From age 14 to 22, I lived entirely for myself.

  • I was popular in high school. I partied hard.

  • I even won two state basketball championships.

  • By age 18 I had a full-ride scholarship to play college basketball.

  • I felt like I was on my way.

  • But four years later,

  • it all came crashing down. I made some bad choices.

  • And gradually I lost everything I had earned.

  • I'll never forget the day, at age 22,

  • on a Thursday,

  • that I decided to end my life.

  • I sat in the school cafeteria that thinking about how I was going to do it.

  • How I would spend my last weekend on Earth...

  • ...when I overheard two girls at a nearby table,

  • talking about "fasting" and "prayer."

  • I interrupted, asking them whatfastingwas.

  • One of them told me it was something they did when they wanted help from God.

  • It seemed so silly,

  • but I listened, intrigued.

  • That night, all alone, I knelt down and prayed for the first time in my life.

  • I told God that I was going to fast.

  • That I'd go without food and water for 24 hours.

  • But that I wanted him to show himself to me.

  • so I fasted.

  • And for the first time in eight years, I went without drugs and alcohol.

  • But by the next day, nothing had happened.

  • I didn't want to end my life anymore.

  • But god never spoke to me.

  • So I forgot about the whole thing.

  • I knew he didn't exist.

  • I went on with my life.

  • And then oddly,

  • a month later, an old friend called, inviting me over.

  • I hadn't seen him in five years. So we hung out one day,

  • catching up on all times. When out of the blue he said, "Todd,

  • I don't know how to tell you this. I was scared even to invite you over.

  • But yesterday I had a strong impression from God to call you.

  • And God impressed me to tell you that he needs you on his side.

  • Today.

  • I was speechless.

  • Was God real?

  • Had he answered my prayer?

  • Had he sent someone to me?

  • I couldn't believe it.

  • But he had.

  • With my friend's help, for the next year and a half,

  • I fought like a lion to overcome all my problems. Up and down I went,

  • succeeding and failing along the way. But little by little, I started to see

  • small but obvious things happen in my life.

  • The answers to questions that had long bothered me began to be revealed.

  • Slowly, things started to change.

  • Finally I decided to attend church. One day, someone there reached out,

  • inviting me to a church-sponsored picnic.

  • I felt a bit awkward about it,

  • but decided to go.

  • It turned out to be the straightest party I had ever been to.

  • No drugs,

  • No alcohol.

  • Silly games for the kids everyone had brought.

  • Then we had lunch.

  • Someone wanted to pray over the hot dogs.

  • I thought it was strange, but I bowed my head.

  • And closed my eyes.

  • And then my life changed.

  • Two years after that initial fast and prayer,

  • and 700 days after I pleaded with God in my closet,

  • I felt something I had never felt in my life.

  • Something twenty times stronger than any drug I'd ever taken.

  • It was as if someone were hugging me.

  • As if someone were telling me I was home.

  • That these people were good.

  • That I needed to be with them.

  • That God was there.

  • And that he knew me by name. And that he loved me.

  • I had always thought that if God were to manifest himself to me that he would

  • come down in a lightning bolt.

  • Or in a great clash of fire.

  • But I learned that day the picnic that I was wrong.

  • I realized that it is part of our condition as mortals to sometimes feel as

  • though we are surrounded by darkness.

  • But even though we may feel lost, that God promises to illuminate the way before us.

  • No matter how long it takes.

  • For two years, God had nurtured a questioning soul.

  • Little by little he had given me as much as I could handle.

  • Until the day I was humble enough to hear fully what he wanted to tell me.

  • I also learned by my own experience

  • that spiritual light rarely comes to those who merely sit in darkness,

  • waiting for someone to flip a switch. It takes an act of faith

  • to open our eyes to the light of Christ.

  • Twenty years later, I still don't know everything.

  • But I now know who I am.

  • I know who God is.

  • And I know that God's light is real.

For nearly 25 years, I wandered.

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A2 初級

神の光の希望 (The Hope of God's Light)

  • 196 18
    Leonard Lee に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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