It was 1980 or so when I accepted Christ into my young, 14-year old heart in Honolulu, Hawaii. I was just a kid, but hungry for God. I read my Bible and I went to church. I went forward frequently during altar calls at the Free Will Baptist Church I attended with my next-door neighbors, and prayed for friends who weren't saved.
I was on fire back then.
Fast forward ten years. At 24-years old in 1990, I was already divorced from my short-lived marriage to my high-school sweetheart, and in a second failing marriage. I had a newborn baby and was serving in the U.S. Army as a finance specialist. I had strayed from God, stopped going to church, and was determined to do things my own way.
Another ten years pass. It was 2000, and this was the year that I would finally come back to God. In the 20 years from the time I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, to the time I rededicated my life to Him, so much happened. I had changed, become hardened and cynical from the hurt and rejection I had gone through in my life.
During the present day, I find that I have come full circle. I'm back on fire again for Jesus, my hardened heart has softened, and my cynicism had been reduced to a practical level.
A lot changed during the past 33 years since I first accepted Christ. My life has been on a roller-coaster ride of experiences, heartbreak, struggles, with an attempt at balancing with love, contentment, and peace. Today, the peace is back and my brief look back at the life I've lived thus far shows me something significant.
I've changed. People have changed. Times have changed. God never changes.
God is the same God I met in 1980. He has the same abundant grace I experienced in the beginning of my walk with Him. He pours out the same mercy I experienced but refused to acknowledge when I had strayed. He has the same extravagant love for me right now as He did when I was in the throes of anguish and ready to throw in the towel.
Today we all are going through trials in our daily lives like we have never experienced before. What we could buy for $10 in 1980, now costs nearly $28. In 1981, U.S. gas prices were $1.35 per gallon. Today, I saw a gas station selling it for $3.55. The cost of a postage stamp in 1980 was 15-cents. Today, it is 46-cents to send that first class letter.
God never changes.
- He listens to my prayers today, just as he did 33-years ago.
- He provides me everything I need right now, just as He has always done.
- I am the apple of His eye today, just like I was yesterday.
I encourage you to take some time to reflect on how things have changed over the years, and how God has remained the same. God bless you.
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)