“Before, I was cold and cynical, lacked empathy-I didn’t care what happened.”

I grew up Lutheran. I was raised in the church. I knew the Bible stories. Then I went to college and was “educated”. How could there be one God that created the universe? Jesus was just another historical figure, a prophet, a leader in a godless society. But the stories were just tall tales, interpreted and reinterpreted over thousands of years. Funny how I hadn’t heard of any recent miracles, nothing since the Bible days, right?

For 20 years I ignored God. I considered myself to be a good person, getting better with age, but with no purpose, no meaning to my life. Marriage and fatherhood and a demanding job that was dragging me down each day, I was in a downward spiral, no hope in sight. My beliefs were beginning to come into question, and over the last few years I found myself looking back to my childhood, my upbringing in the church. Last August as I was driving to work, I heard an ad on the radio for a church program, and was drawn to listen. He spoke of forgiveness, of God’s love and how he made me to be a victor, not a victim. At the end of the program, he asked me to say a prayer out loud, “Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins, come into my heart, I make You my Lord and Savior.” He then said if I said this simple prayer that I was born again. I felt as though I’d been washed clean, and saw a future full of possibility, potential, and direction. I felt an overwhelming sense of forgiveness, that God was welcoming me back home. Over the next 30 days, God made his presence felt daily; I would almost laugh in amazement as daily prayers were answered, some immediately. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that God was directing my footsteps, that he had me in the palm of His hand.

Before, I was cold and cynical, lacked empathy-I didn’t care what happened. Today I see everyone and every situation in my life as a gift, put there by God, leading me toward my destiny. I’ve given total control of my life to God, knowing that if it’s in my life, it was meant to be there. I stopped trying to figure out the “why” and just serve Him as best I can. For the first time in my life I feel at peace, and I am resolved to spend the rest of my days as His humble servant.

Grant Svoboda

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