|"And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." Genesis 28:15|
|I know what this has meant to me. Good job, home, and family. A wife that was "keeping the home fires burning" ... that kind of thing.
From the time I was a teenager, I had my plan for the "American Dream". I learned that I couldn't rely on anyone else. I grew up with the "pull yourself up by your bootstrap" way of thinking. Whatever success I was to enjoy, it was going to come from hard work and being a good husband and father. So I worked hard, and played hard. Life at home wasn't rosy, instead it was falling apart. The worse it got, the more I was willing to find satisfaction wherever I could.
I just couldn't understand why no one appreciated me. I was a nice guy; I knew how to treat a lady. I had plenty of practice. I worked hard for my employer, sometimes without pay. I couldn't get a raise or promotion. Many people had said I was a nice guy; but, I couldn't find my "American Dream". I just plain couldn't find happiness.
I thought I could find happiness in the arms of a woman. It wasn't there. Three failed marriages and a number of girl-friends later, I couldn't find it. Satisfaction wouldn't come with a good job, good pay and great stuff.
The most ironic part of my life so far, was I couldn't understand why God let these things happen to me. After all, I believed in God, I went to church, (off and on). I knew the story of Jesus, I even celebrated Christmas. And when I was sixteen, I even went forward at one of those Billy Graham movies and said I believed in Jesus.
So why would this God let my life fall apart? Here I was, nearly 40 years old, had been in a bad accident, lost my home, my truck, marriages, and everything I had worked for... All gone. Alone, trying to raise a child by myself, working only part-time, alone, so all alone, and desperate for another adult to talk to. Lonliness like I had never known, and feeling like I could lay down in the middle of Times Square and die & no one would notice.
Then I saw the truth. God didn't let me down. I had lived my life my way, looked for "my" happiness, my solutions to my problems, and I had totally messed up "my" life. I had heard God loved me, but I didn't want God telling me what to do. I wanted control of my life, and He never forced Himself into my life, and I found out what life is like without letting Him take the driver's seat. He became real to me one day when I realized what He did for me.
For God, knowing that we, mankind, could never fix things ourselves, could never solve our problems alone, and never, ever, pay for the sins of man, short of eternity in hell ... this God loved me so much that He came to live on earth as a man, a man in the flesh, who knew no sin, who never lied, cheated, hungered after riches and the things of this world, who was guilty of no crime, and He chose to be beaten with a whip until the flesh of His back hung from His body, to be spit upon, and beaten & bruised. Then He carried that heavy wooden cross to Calvary, where they drove spikes into His hands and feet, and then raised that cross upright and dropped it into the hole in the ground, jarring His body that hung from the nails, and He could have called a legion of angels to stop this at any time; Yet, He chose this knowing that He was the only payment for my sin; because He knew me, knew all the things I would someday do, saw my face, and suffered unspeakable agony and poured out His blood, to pay the price for my sin. Then He was buried in a borrowed tomb. BUT, He was victorious over sin and death by rising from the dead three days later, as only God would have the power to do, giving me the offer of peace, hope, and love that takes away the emptiness in me that nothing else would fill, if only I accept Him as my Lord and Savior.
When this finally became real to me, I got so desperate that I wanted Him to take over my life completely. I finally found Happiness, the pursuit was finally over. I finally found Jesus and asked Him to save me, come into my heart, and be the Lord of my life. He never took control of my life; I HAD TO GIVE HIM THAT CONTROL. In return He has given me peace, love, hope and satisfaction that nothing this world can give me.
I encourage you to seek Jesus today. He is the only thing that will fill the void in your life.
AND THE PURSUIT