This blog post was inspired by a Good Friday service I attended, and by the testimony I shared this morning at my home-church.
As we all know, March 30th 2018 was Good Friday. Up until this year, Good Friday was just another holiday to me. I never took the time to understand the significance of this day, nor did I ask the simple question “why do we celebrate Good Friday?” It always seems to fall on the calendar a few days before Easter, but why?
This past Friday, I attended a church here in town where they held a Good Fridays service with three other churches. It was an amazing service, the place was packed. I was seated near the back end of the church, and watched many people conversing, laughing, and gathering together to celebrate the day Jesus died to pay for our sins. It was an awesome time of worship, musical performances, and a very thought provoking message by one of the Pastor’s who explained what sin is and why we need to get rid of it.
Here is was the Pastor had to say:
Once a week, we lay out on the curb our bags full of garbage. We know that the only way to get rid of our garbage is by throwing it out and watching the garbage collectors pick-it up and carry it away. Once we’ve gotten rid of our trash, we feel a lot better. We know we’ve gotten rid of our garbage once we no longer smell the awful stench of it rotting in our homes. Our garbage, is similar to our sin. We know when there’s sin in our life because like garbage, it stinks! It weighs us down, makes us feel like “garbage”, and the “smell” or the effects of sin will never leave unless we get rid of it. How do we get rid of it you ask? There is only one way to remove sin. It is by Jesus Christ that we are cleansed, washed, sanctified and justified for our wrongful actions.
Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins because he knew that sin separates us from having a relationship with God. If it were not for Jesus dying on the cross to pay for our sins, you and I would not be where we are today. We would have the definite outcome of eternal separation from God, rather than free gift of eternal life by placing our faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour.
I was so glad when I found out that there is a way to be set free from the bondage I was once living in. From walking through the first portion of my life with the “blinders” on, I fell into the horrible cycle of pride, envy, lust, self-pity, depression, anxiety, fear, so on and so forth. When I was awakened to the truth about why were and why we need a Saviour, I began to feel sorrow in my heart. The sorrow I was experiencing in my heart was prompting me to make the best decision I could have ever made, accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
Oh Lord, I know I’ve been living a sinful life. I’ve been doing things I know that are wrong, and living according to my plan, my ways, my desires, my rules. Lord, I’ve been trying to take the steering wheel on my life when deep down I know, I keep driving down roads I don’t want to be, and Lord, I know that You are the ultimate One who controls, leads, and and wants the best for me, so You take the wheel. Oh God, please forgive me of my sinful ways and come into my heart. Cleanse me, revive me, help me to start living the right way for You. Help me Lord to live according to Your plan and purpose, and lead me to everlasting peace, joy, and life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
After praying a prayer similar to this a few years back, my life has completely changed. My heart was changed, as well as my mind. Walking through the first portion of my life with sin, and shame, and guilt, I’ve been set-free to live a Godly life. I no longer engage in partying or drinking as I did when I was a teenage because I know that nothing ‘good’ comes out of being drunk, the bible tells us it’s sin.
Ever since I made Jesus the Lord of my life, my life has been taken a total 180 degree turn. I used to be very self-centred and wanted things done my way. I started to place a heavy focus on my appearance and weight because I was conscious and envious of others, so I started to exercise in excess and eventually ended up in an eating disorder clinic with a heart rate of 45. It was dangerous, I was potentially killing myself due to my exercise addiction.
I tried everything under the sun to get help, but nothing seemed to work. No matter how hard I tried to “free myself” from the disorder, it somehow began to creep back into my life every time I would go on an “innocent diet.” Somehow eating healthy and working out was equated with obsessing over what I was eating and making sure I kept my weight down by exercising in any way, shape or form.
Now that I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus, the Lord has helped me overcome those past struggles by changing my thought-processes and the motives in my heart. The moment I accepted Jesus into my heart, my life was changed forever. Although I didn’t realize how my life was changed in that moment, I have become increasingly aware of the transformative power of God through reading His Word, talking to Him on a daily basis, learning more about His character and praying for others and myself.
I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest dreams by seeing the evidence of my faith being poured out into my life, as well as my friends and family. The Lord has set me free from an eating disorder that once consumed every aspect of my life, and has done the same for one of my friends who rarely speaks about the disorder because she keeps the Lord at the forefront of her mind and heart.
The Lord has blessed me by sending me to different parts of the world, like Nicaragua and Greece in the summer of 2016. It was in Greece where I spent time walking along the ocean, praying that God would give me a sign that He was with me. I was hoping to bring home some kind of souvenir, when I looked down at my feet to see an oddly shaped rock. When I picked it up, I noticed a little cross engraved at the top of the rock. My mouth dropped, I had so much joy and excitement from seeing this! Not long after, I found another rock in the shape of a heart which was more than enough confirmation that God was with me and had answered prayer.
The Lord has given me the opportunity to study nursing, where I have met so many wonderful people. Also, the Lord has given me an opportunity to share about His faithfulness by writing on this blog.
I praise the Lord for all that He’s done, and believe He places people in our lives in a specific purpose and at a specific time. For example, God placed people in my life that showed me how Christian’s walk, talk, and act. It was around the same time my mom and I both got saved, and I believe it was God answering Ben’s prayer that took 15 years to be answered, but I thank God and give Him all the glory for saving us both.
Although I can’t go back and relive some of the years I had lost due to the eating disorder, there is one thing I know for certain; and that is God is able. He is able to use what was meant to harm us, and use it for our good. He has given me a heart that desires to know more of Him, and wants to seek His will for my life. I’ve learned through the many trials and tests in my health, there is hope for the ones who call on Him. Ever since I put my trust in the Lord to take care of me, He has proven Himself to be faithful, merciful, and gracious towards me despite my failures.
Billy graham once said “if anything has been accomplished through my life, it has been solely God’s doing, not mine, and He, not I must get the credit”
Thank you Jesus, for using my past to bring glory to Your name. Thank you for all that you’ve done, and for saving me from the depths of Hell. I’m so blessed to know you as my Lord, my Father, and my friend. Amen.