What does God mean to me? That question made me laugh at first. Not at all in a disrespectful way, but in a “how in the world do I put that into just a few words?” Well, I need to tell a little of my story to explain what he means to me.
I’ve been raised in church my entire life. My parents have always been involved in ministry. They love God, they love people and it’s been evident in their lives. But in the midst of that, it was my job to learn what he meant to me on a personal level. I saw what He was to my parents, to my family members.. but what was Christ to me?
At a young age, I had a genuine love for God. When I was 5 years old (almost 6), at a vacation bible school I asked him to live in my heart. I was SO proud and I knew I wanted to please him with my life from then on. I had an amazing childhood. It was filled with love, imagination, and more memories than I could count.. I will forever be thankful for it.. then came the teenage years. I remember hearing people talk about Christ, talk about when they got saved and over & over I heard people say that kids “don’t know” or things like “you can’t really commit at a young age because you don’t understand.” I remember getting so beat up. Constantly, I would question what they were saying.. but I KNEW I loved Jesus. I knew what I prayed that day, I knew what I felt and had felt since. He was a part of me. We talked all the time, he gave me comfort when I was sad, he warned me when I may have made a bad decision, he encouraged me.. Jesus was my friend and he loved me. Feeling like I couldn’t tell people my testimony because no one would think I was “really saved” because I had been so young, I asked God to give me a sign that I knew and hadn’t been too young to understand his love.. Then one night, sitting in a group of people (some I knew, some I didn’t) a lady I had known my whole life, a lady NO one would’ve questioned whether or not Jesus lived in her heart, gave her testimony and talked about being 4 years old on a swing set asking Jesus into her heart.. I cried. I had felt God’s love, I had heard his voice.. how could I not have known him? But so many voices were saying there was no way I could.. Then perfect timing, God reminds me about his love, reminds me about that commitment I made and reminds me of 1 Timothy 4:12a – “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young..” From then on, his timing became one of my favorite things. I still doubt sometimes and shame on me, because he never leaves me hanging.. Perfect timing, he steps in or shows his plan.
When it looks like there’s no hope, seconds left, He’s there. My mom almost passed away two years ago. She was 24 hours (if not less) from not making it. Then the Lord told a doctor (who at the time didn’t believe in God, but said he kept hearing a voice) to run a test that scientifically and medically didn’t make sense. That test came back positive – blood clots in both lungs. Driving down the road, saying “Thanks Lord! We didn’t hit a single red light. That’s a first..” then a car accident happening right behind us. Seconds from being in that accident.. Over and over, the Lord’s timing blows me away. Sometimes the bad things still happen but God always brings good out of it. He’s there for us in the small things and the big things. I can talk to him about my deepest, most personal struggles and I can talk to him about what outfit I should wear. I can laugh with him, I can cry.. I can ask questions and learn new things. I can read a story I’ve read 20 times and get something new out of it again. He IS good. His love is forever faithful. His timing is spot on.. His voice is not silent, even in the seasons where we feel like it maybe is. Sunsets and the ocean, the flowers each spring, seeing someone come to Christ, miracles and breakthroughs, a song coming on the radio that encourages you on a bad day.. His voice is loud and clear through the things He does for us. His love for us is evident. His creation is proof of that love. I want my life to be His. I want my actions to please Him. I fail him daily, but I’ll continue to serve him, trying again and again because I know that He is good and deserves so much more than what I can ever be. Still, he loves me as I am. That’s the most amazing part of all.. No matter how many times we fail, He’s a friend, a father, a teacher, savior. He’s GOD. He’s my God. And I love him.
That’s what He means to me.