my testimony^where's paco?^latest thoughts on God^

When I was five, I “prayed the prayer.” 
It was pretty simple, actually. I had a night-light—an angel—that watched over me and I felt safe and secure each night as I faded off into dreamland, knowing my Guardian was there. The night came when I looked upon it, thinking the thoughts of a child: “If a night-light could make me feel this safe, and it’s not even real, think what the angels could do! And the real angels were created by Jesus … think what He could do!”
So I silently prayed, and asked Him to live in my heart. 

Since then, I have lived a somewhat typical pastor’s-kid life. I have led a life of three steps forward, two steps back. My salvation is sure, my hope secure, my place reserved for me in heaven, my name written in the Book of Life. 
But it is a gradual road that I have traveled, and only now am I beginning to realize the magnitude of the Christian walk. It is hard, sometimes maddening, and sometimes bitterly lonely. There are so many chances to explore the detours that beckon, indulge in the “niceties” of the world, then carry on. I am learning, though, the value of integrity and consistency in my faith, and the burden and consequences of hypocrisy and sin. From the smallest err to the greatest blunder, all mold me and have effect on both myself and the people in my life. 

And so my faith grows, and my hope intensifies. We grow up hearing that “to live is Christ, to die is gain,” and we write it and re-write it with fancy words and in catchy jingles… but do we really understand it? Perhaps it takes a darkest hour to comprehend to truth laced within the statement. A point in life when all becomes worthless in view of Christ, when life is so tediously unbearable that we would rather die than live—knowing our hope is sure—yet still press on by command and commitment, in obedience to Christ. 

And so it is, my purpose in life: to press on in all circumstances, through all the pain and rejection and folly of this world as one who has been bought with a price: I am not my own. I belong to One far greater, and all I say and do must be carefully weighed within the bent of His will. My dreams and desires must take the proverbial back seat to God’s driving, and my own pride must concede to trusting in the course He determines, wherever He leads by His purpose and whim. 

My commitment is solid. 
I am His. 
I have experienced dark tempests, and through all of the pain and anger and rage and frustration and loneliness and emptiness, only one light remains lit. There is only One way to follow, to run, to crawl, to continue, and that is toward that Light. I know no other course. He exposes me to the fire to refine me, to test me, to build my character through my perseverance. As one reborn and renewed, I know no other way but to retreat under His wing and to advance under His hand. 
He is my Master, my Surgeon, and my Friend. 
Time and time again I stray to build my “houses of cards.” Faithfully, though it causes Him sorrow, He knocks them all down.
I praise a Living God who would love me enough to discipline me, yet adore me in spite of knowing that i will always retain folly in my wretched heart.
I do not deserve His love... yet He loves me!

"We're all bastards, but God loves us anyway."
~ Philip Yancey ~

"Much dreaming and many words are meaningless;
therefore, stand in awe of God."
~ Ecclesiastes 5:7 ~

my testimony^where's paco?^latest thoughts on God^