Approximately 18 years ago, my life was in ruins. No one could fix me. I suffered from addiction, mental anguish, depression and my marriage was falling apart. I had been in a cult for many years and had taken in many false religious teachings. I chose to cut myself off from all my family, believing that the cult leader was hearing from God. One day out of complete desperation, I cried out, with all my heart to the Lord. I didn’t know whether God would hear me and help me. I repented for all the hurtful things I had done and the people I had hurt. In the moments following this prayer, my heart was changed. I had been so dirty on the inside, and now was clean. I felt so light as the Lord lifted all the heavy burdens away. I am free; all the chains have fallen off. The Lord restored all to me!
John 6:12: and when they were filled, He saith unto his disciples, “Gather up the broken pieces which remain over, that nothing be lost.” American Standard Version (ASV).
To many, this scripture represents Jesus feeding the 5000. To me it’s a message to the world from the heart of Jesus. The broken pieces represent our state before Jesus reveals Himself to our hearts. The lost pieces represent our eternal state without Jesus.
I was hurting, lost, searching, and never finding anything that satisfied the deep hole left in my heart by years of abuse from childhood. Many failures, and let downs later, the Lord revealed Himself to my heart. Since then I have pursued my relationship with Jesus, finding in Him the very things missing in my heart. No longer lost, Jesus began to heal me through reading His word and attending a church that preached sound doctrine. I found what was missing – Jesus – and have never looked back!
Until my late 40’s, Jesus was no more than a story to me. I viewed Christians as hypocritical and self-serving. I was focused on my lifestyle of doing, getting, accomplishing…and sinning. Work consumed me. My 4 children were important, but too often they took second place to my selfish wants. After my divorce, I sabotaged healthy relationships and pursued poor ones. I was confused and double minded. On one hand, I was independent, selfish, proud, successful – on the other, I was insecure and knew I was a total failure. Some friends, who were Christians, suggested I take a course at their church – on dysfunctional behaviour! It was there I learned Jesus was real, and that true Christianity resulted from a personal relationship with Jesus. I made a response to Jesus, but still liked my sin and continued to pursue money, things…my lifestyle. My heart was not changed and I doubt I was saved.
Years later, I ended up losing everything, financially speaking. I couldn’t find work for a year. I felt I had failed – as a father, husband/partner, friend, business person. In hindsight, I believe God allowed more trials in my life than I could handle – in desperation I turned to Him – God met me! I got work within a few days. Four months later, I married an amazing Jesus-loving woman who had dated me for three years while I foolishly lost my house and all my money. I was able to give my children, along with the guilt and regrets for not being the father I should have been, to Jesus. Now I hated my sins, and found freedom from a 40 year addiction, which no one but God and I knew about. I was able to forgive those who hurt me, and finally, even able to forgive myself. I gained a peace I never knew possible.
In losing virtually everything. I gained something far more amazing – life – through my relationship with Jesus.