Growing up in a Christian home with a pastor for a father, who wasn’t even really a pastor, did little towards making God real for me. Christianity was just about a list of things you couldn’t do because of some guy who lived 2000 years ago that said some profound things. All it came down to was praying before you eat, going to church on a Sunday, being nice to people and not doing a bunch of cool stuff. I had never felt anything, never experienced God in any way.
I could always see God’s influence in people’s lives such as my parents and some of my friends, so it was not a case of not believing that God was real, it was more of a “God just doesn’t want to talk to me” thing.
When I got sick, which no doctors could diagnose, and had to leave Heronbridge. I withdrew from even the vague sense of God I had, because not only did He not want to talk to me, but now He was actually ignoring my pain and cries for help. I pushed as far away from God as I could get.
It was through my own strength that I overcame my illness and all the mental, physical and emotional damage that it had caused. It was through sheer strength of will that I did not kill myself on many different occasions. Throughout my suffering and many years of isolation and utter aloneness I was constantly told by Christian after Christian that God had all the answers, He would save me if I just asked. So I did.
Over and over again I found myself on my knees crying out to a God who I was slowly starting to lose belief in despite the evidence around me in the people I knew. Not once did He speak to me. Not once did He let me feel Him. Not once did He save me from my torment. But life must go on and so did I.
I decided I was going to live my life, be a good person, better than all these Christians around me who all preached about this great God they served yet lived lives much like mine. I was determined to be better, do better than these Christians that God calls to be better. I was going to do it to spite Him for ignoring me; for abandoning me.
Skip ahead a few years: I moved to Cape Town and then returned home to JHB and met an amazing woman who lived every second for God and put me second in everything despite how close we were getting. I couldn’t understand it. How could God be so real to her yet so far from me? We had many a conversation about spirituality and religion and eventually she told me to try again. I was not the same person I was before; I had gone through some intense personal growth, so why not ask God all these questions that I was asking everyone else and getting no answers to.
I was determined to prove her wrong, determined to prove once and for all that God was either not real or just simply wanted nothing to do with me. Yet for the first time I considered a question: What would it mean if He actually spoke to me?
So, before I sat down to talk to empty air, I decided that should God choose to show Himself to me and speak, I would be His. My life would end and I would give the rest of my existence to serving Him. But I needed Him to be clear. I needed to know that I was not talking to myself and that it really was Him. If He was going to speak, He needed to be the realest thing I had ever known, or it would www.heronbridgecollege.co.za
not be good enough. I had my list of questions in my head and the moment I opened my mind and was about to ask my first question to the nothingness in front of me, God spoke.
And everything changed.
And He gave me this Scripture which has become the very breath I breathe every day:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.