While the studies we share with each other are meant to teach, encourage, and in some instances, rebuke, there is no doubt that the most important aspect of this ministry is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since I feel led to have begun our studies in the beginning, and continue forward from there it has occurred to me (or more likely the Holy Spirit has pressed upon me) that despite how crucial these studies are, the early text, while ripe with prophecies of Jesus Christ (something we will begin to learn shortly) those who have yet to know Him as I do may not realize the full purpose of our journey here. As I thought on these things I entered into a conversation with a friend of mine; one which would add a new dimension and focus to this site and one which would both surprise and encourage me immensely.
I present to you with great honor and humility a story submitted to me by a great friend and a brother in Christ. I pray that his story will encourage you in your walk with Christ. Please note that this story is not edited for content, only for grammar and/or punctuation if/or as necessary.
My name is Eric and this is My story….
My story may be a lot like yours, the details may just be different. Maybe not. But here’s mine.
From the age of 12 I was a drug addict and an alcoholic. It was the same excuses a lot of others have that led to this. Broken family, fell into a bad crowd, etc. You name the excuse, I used it. This lasted until I was 36 years old.
On December 24, 2004, I had finally had enough. I was tired, homeless, dirty, hungry, and depressed. My in-laws were raising my children, my wife had left me, and even my mother and my sister had closed their doors to me. I had no one.
I had tried many, many times to turn away from the life I was living. I even felt like I had a grasp on changing once or twice. But the craving, the desire, was always still there and inevitably, I always fell into my old habits again.
But all through my years of living for myself and my addictions, there was always someone there. I just didn’t recognize Him until later. That “later” turned out to be the Salvation Army Adult Rehab Center. I entered the beginning of the rest of my life on January 7, 2005 and have never looked back. It was there that God began His work in me.
My first Sunday in chapel, the Major in charge of the center took the podium and stated, “By the authority of Christ, if you desire a new life more than anything else in the world, and are willing to meet Him here, at the front of the chapel, He will give you your heart’s desire.”
I felt a great urge to go forward. My spirit called out for change. As I stood to shuffle my way to the front, it was as if floodgates were opened and tears poured from my eyes, running down my face to the floor. I could not stop weeping. God had called and my spirit had answered.
I reached the front of the chapel, took a place on my knees, and pleaded, begged Jesus, to take the life I knew. To create in me a new hope, a new man; I wanted it more than life itself. At that very moment it was as if a huge burden had been taken from me. Like I’d been carrying around another person on my shoulders for years, and all of a sudden it was gone. The weight, the cravings, the desire to get high or drink, the guilt and regret….all of it, gone.
I gave myself to Him that day. How could I do less for the One who saved my life?
Since that day, I have never suffered a “using dream”. I’ve never suffered a craving or the usual symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse. I had been cured. I’m not a recovering addict. I’m not a functioning alcoholic. I’m a new man, with a new mind and a new life. God changed me in that instant. That moment that I gave myself fully to Him.
If you saw me now, you would never believe that I was ever the person I used to be. There is no semblance of that person here any longer. He’s gone. Dead. I had found where I truly belonged. Where we ALL belong. Living a life dedicated to Christ.
I can promise you this. If you are in a place that you know in your heart you shouldn’t be in…if you are living a life that you know is not the life you should be living…if you are lost or hurting and just don’t know where to turn or who can help…then please, listen to me. Christ is waiting to help. He’s standing right in front of you with His hand held out to you. He’s been there all along. All you need to do is meet Him halfway. Just reach out and want what He has to offer. I promise you you’ll never be sorry.
Believe me, if He did it for me, He’ll do it for you. It’ll be the best decision you ever made.
I have known Eric for some time now and I can testify personally that I would never have known he had been through such trying times; never would have guessed that he had suffered addiction, loss, heartbreak; Eric is the happiest, easiest going person I know. In fact, those of us who know him call him “Easy”. That is the power of Christ! Only Christ can take a broken life and make it whole again! Only Christ can truly overcome the addictions and pains of this world. He is our redeemer. He is our salvation. He is our comfort; our relief; our freedom. He is our Creator. He is our Friend and Confidant. He is holy, righteous and truth. He is the very image of love and sacrifice…oh how I wish I could describe Him to you! 😉
Those of you skeptical; those of you in doubt; fearful; depressed; those of you who are weary of the struggles of this world. I urge you, come to know Christ as I do; as Eric does. You need not carry the burdens and heartache of a world fallen to evil. You need not suffer the torment of a life searching for something; anything that will comfort you. Your comfort is right there in front of you; you only have to do just as Eric has done; as I have done; reach out and want what He has to offer.
Christ said to Nicodemus “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV). The life you live now is not the life you were meant to live. The day will come when we will all stand before our Creator and answer for our life here on earth. For those who know Christ; who have been saved by His grace and love, we need not fear; Christ stands between us and the Father to speak on our behalf!
If you want to live a new life in Christ you need only ask
Pray this prayer: “Lord Jesus I know I am a sinner. I was born in sin, and I have lived in sin; sin against you. I know that you died on the cross so that I would not have to die for my sins. Please come into my life and remove the stain of sin that is upon it. Please save me from myself. I wish to repent; to turn away from my sin and live my life for you. Please take control of my life and renew my soul. In your name, Amen”
If you have a story of redemption you would like to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org With your permission I will add your story to this portion of our page so that others may be encouraged and those who are yet lost may find their way to Christ.
If you have prayed the prayer above and would like to share with others, please tell us in the comments section. You may also email me at anytime with questions about where to go from here.
I pray God’s grace, peace, and love are upon you all today, tomorrow, and forevermore.