During what I describe as the Dark Years, I thought that I had ‘blown it’, that I wasn’t a proper Christian.
How could I have missed it? In the Old Testament we are told time and time again how God gave the Israelites second chance after second chance. The book of Judges has many stories of how the Israelites did their own thing, things got bad and God sent them a ‘judge’ to rescue them. Deborah, that fearsome lady (who says God doesn’t use women?) who relished in telling how Jael had shattered Sisera’s head with a tent peg [Judges 5: 26]. And Gideon, who protested that he was too weak to save Israel [Judges 6:15] – and many more.
David is described as ‘a man after God’s own heart’ – yet he was an adulterer and a murderer.
And in the New Testament, Jesus reinstated Peter after he had denied Him three times. You can read about this in John’s gospel chapter 21.
And then there’s the parable of the Prodigal Son [Luke 15: 11-32] – how could I have forgotten that Father God is ever watching, longing to embrace His prodigals and throw a party to celebrate their return?
How could I have missed all that? During those dark years, I really thought I’d blown it – I avoided reading the bible because I kept coming across verses like ‘a dog returns to its vomit’ [2Peter 2:22] and ‘if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have receive the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left’ [Hebrews 10:26].
Then God came, the Good Shepherd seeking his lost sheep [as in Ezekiel 34:16], as I describe here – the turning point in my life.
If you’re in a dark place, remember God is only ever a prayer’s breadth away – he always responds to a sinners’ prayer – ‘god have mercy on me a sinner’ [Luke 18:13].