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Friday, November 9, 2012

5 things my testimony does NOT mean

In my previous post, I told the story of how God rescued me. I would now like to present 5 wrong interpretations of my story.

1. It does NOT mean that dating is bad.

I believed this one for a while- that dating was born from an addiction, a desperate emotional need to attach your life to someone who would surely be harmful to you (because, like I said, I believed all guys were horrible and untrustworthy and they only want sex- but dear goodness, they're so irresistably cute).

I remember feeling incredibly concerned for my friends who were dating- they were in such danger! Dating means that sometime within the next few months, your life will burn to the ground. Because I couldn't imagine that breaking up could mean anything other than what it had meant for me... hopelessness, my life is ruined, how can I live without him... Dude, it required a MIRACLE FROM GOD to help me get over it.

Yeah... dating is not like that for other people. People can totally have healthy relationships. Overall, dating is a good thing.

2. It does NOT mean that people need to have their heart torn out in order to find God.

I dedicated my life to God as a last resort. And I've heard other stories of people who found God when they hit rock bottom. So, I used to think that what my non-Christian friends needed was a bunch of terrible things to happen to them- then they'd find Jesus and they'd be much better off.

But of course, some red flags popped up- I want my friends to be horribly unhappy and heartbroken?

First of all, that's terrible, for me to wish that on people. Second, people come to God in other ways besides the exact way I came to God. So instead of wishing/praying for bad things to happen so my friends realize they need God, I pray that they'll be happy and successful, and also realize they need God.

3. It does NOT mean that if someone wasn't rescued in a week like I was, they're not praying hard enough.

The entire point of my story is God's mercy- something I don't deserve. If I said "just do this, pray this, and God has to rescue you", then I'm trying to control God, trying to cause a specific output. That doesn't really fit with the idea of mercy.

Following God doesn't mean he magically gets you out of all bad situations (though he TOTALLY DID in this case).

4. It does NOT mean you have to believe me. 

I could say "Look! This is undeniable evidence that God exists!" but I know that everyone has very complex reasons for believing what they believe, and they're not going to completely change their beliefs just because of one story.

Actually, there was a period of time when I didn't even believe it. The strongest doubts I've ever had concerning God's existence occurred a month after he rescued me (and I hope to blog about that sometime- it's a good story). In the end, God helped me overcome my doubts- and maybe the reason he rescued me in such a sudden, dramatic way was he knew that would be the evidence I needed to finally stop doubting.

Yes, my story is completely true. God rescued me. God broke me out of a cycle of being boy-crazy and hopeless, and I couldn't save myself. That's just the freakin' truth. But I have to admit I understand if you don't believe me.

5. It does NOT mean that's all God does.

Yes, God turned my entire life around in 1 week, but that was just the beginning. During the months and years since then, he has done so much more- helping me deal with temptation, doubt, anger, jealousy, fear, racism, selfishness... inspiring me to go to China, which resulted in me deciding that I absolutely need to learn Chinese...

So much has happened since God rescued me. In fact, the amount that God has changed my life in the past four and a half years is greater than the amount that he changed my life in that one week. No question.

I believe in a God who's with me all the time, not just in those huge important milestones of my life.

Image source.

In summary, I know this is true because it happened to me. I know God rescued me. But I can't generalize that to everyone- I can't say dating always works out the way it did for me. I can't say God's mercy always works the exact way it did for me. Of course it won't work the way I predict it- he's God, not a while loop. He does his own thing.

But I can conclude that God is alive and active in the world, and his power is very real and available, and he hears prayers and rescues people. Beyond that, I can't predict any specifics. But I trust him.

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