“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,” (Colossians 1:13 NLT)
There is not a single born again believer who does not have a rescue story or more than one. Sadly, we have fallen into the trap of comparing stories. I have heard some people who think that they do not have a rescue story because they didn’t have sexual relations with at least 25 people, spend at least 30 years hating God, and use every drug known to man. I thank God for every rescue story, whether great or small in HUMAN perspective. In God’s eyes, there is no small rescue story.
My rescue story began when I was a young boy. God pursued me with the gospel until I chose to respond to Him in faith at the age of 6. What a sweet time that was! But little growth happened between the ages of 6 and 14.
I remember God beginning to get my attention about His calling on my life when I was 14. I loved music and was decent at the instruments I played. The musical influences of my life had big dreams for me, but God had other plans. My problem was I was beginning to follow the plans others had for me because it was an escape from God’s call on my life. I knowingly ran from God’s call while preaching every Friday night in a nursing home. You may wonder how you can do what God wants while trying to avoid the call. I can write a book about that😀.
My junior year of high school was a huge year of spiritual turmoil. I was so miserable that I went home after school and slept a few hours before waking up to eat, do homework, then go back to bed. God wasn’t going to let me run for long. Friday, May 2, 1997, I preached in that nursing home with such passion. Something clicked. That Sunday, May 4, 1997, I told my mom I could run no longer. God rescued me from my own will.
I wish I could say I had no struggles after surrendering to God’s plan, but that would be a lie. There was a struggle that began in my childhood that lingered…this ugly thing called depression. I would stay on the emotional roller coaster ride into my twenties and thirties. What I didn’t realize was the roller coaster would malfunction in the Spring of 2012. Anxiety got into the mix. The few months leading to successful treatment were agony. Through it all, God was faithful and rescued me once again from the pit of my despair.
What seemed like light at the end of the tunnel was temporary. Despair hit once again toward the end of 2013. I was finally pastoring my first church when my marriage came to an end. Because of church challenges in addition to the collapse of my family life, I found myself without employment and a ministry. The thing that contained my identity for so long was stripped away. God rescued me once again, this time from a false sense of identity.
My rescue story is still being written. While I know my eternity is secure, I still struggle. And God is still faithful!