This is Easter. I was born on a Easter Sunday. Although I studied in Catholic School a good part of my life, like many I never had a real relationship with the Lord. It was only after coming here to Vancouver, B.C. that I came to know Him and other Christians. One month after I came, two Christians approached me in front of the church close to where I lived saying that there will be a conference with a former convicted prisoner telling his testimony and invited me there. I told them I would think about it, they then handed me a tape on that ex-prisoner’s radio interview, I listened and decided that I will go.
I don’t remember much about what he said, but after his testimony, another two Christians approached me and asked me some personal questions and whether I knew the Lord. I said I studied in Catholic school and always knew there’s a God who created the universe and who is in charge, it was pretty much all I could say. They then asked me if I believed that Jesus died on the cross for our Sin and that if I believe in Him, that my sin would be forgiven and have eternal life. I told them Yes, I believe. At that time, my answer was genuine but without much conviction. I don’t remember what date it was that I confessed Jesus was my Lord. It was only many years later that I was asking that question to myself, “When was my confession?” Shortly afterwards while cleaning I found the answer on the tape that was given to me, it printed ‘September 6, 1999’ was the date I was saved.
After that, I went to see the church pastor, was given a Bible and joined their fellowship group doing things Christians are supposed to do. After many years, several different churches and fellowships later, I still wasn’t maturing in my Christian faith. My sin and my selfish ways were drawing me totally out of church at one point. I didn’t think about the Lord at all, only the activities to please myself.
But the Lord is merciful and He never forsakes me even when I was living in my sinful ways. He sent a very faithful sister whom I knew from the very beginning to call me back to church, and so there I was, doing the religious activities again but never had a genuine heart to know Him. Changes starting happening after another friend invited me to go to Willington and I have been going there for almost 5 years now. It has the best worship service out of the many church services I attended. I always enjoy singing, worshipping connects me closest to God.
A few ‘incidents’ happened which drew me closer to the Lord as I believe these were His divine intervention in my life. The first incident happened when one sunny morning I crashed my civic into a truck because I ran a red light as I couldn’t see clearly with the foggy windshield and glare of the morning sun blocking my view. It was a stupid mistake. I don’t even remember slamming on my brake, there was just no time. The amazing thing is I walked out all right by myself, not breaking a bone or having any minor injuries even though there was no airbag. When I got out of the car, the front of the car was leaking and a total wreck. I told the paramedics that I wanted to have a check-up at the hospital because I wasn’t sure if there’re any internal injuries that might manifest later. I remember asking the paramedics if I was lucky to come out all right with the impact of the crash and I remember thanking the Lord for saving me.
The last time I was on an ambulance was back in 1998 taking my grandma to the hospital the day she fell on the bath tub. Later we were told that she had a cerebral hemorrhage. My mom first discovered that she fell. When we found her half of her body was already laying inside the tub motionless. We called the ambulance and so I was leaning besides her holding her and feeling so helpless until the Paramedic came and took her to emergency. For some reason, we decided to go home that night and wait for the news. The moment I walked into my home, I broke down and cried the most agonizing cry I ever did, never had I experience such devastating grief in my life, very close to losing the very person you respect and love the most. I must have cried myself to sleep and I still remember the dream that night very vividly. In that dream, I was still crying, my grandma was comforting me, smiling at me and giving me a look as if everything was going to be ok.
Then the phone woke me up, it was from the hospital asking us to go there as soon as possible. I immediately called my cousin and told them to meet us at the hospital. My body and hands were shaken like never before when I was dialing her number, she must have felt it in my voice too, still shaking. When we got to the hospital, the doctor said that they tried everything they could, she passed away a few mins before. It must be around 6:30 am in the morning. While we were waiting for our other relatives to arrive, I sat down in the lobby and couldn’t help but noticed the silence & peace in that hospital. It was as if everything had stopped. It was the quietest morning I ever experienced. I think it could be the Holy Spirit appeared as my grandma to comfort me, that’s why I could have such peace after her death knowing that she is in Heaven watching over me and that she didn’t have to go through the long suffering before her death.
Back to my accident, I had the check-up in the hospital, after waiting for almost half-day there, the doctor told me that I don’t seem to have any problems so I walked back out the hospital the same day. About a year later, I’ve read my experience in a book written by the famous pastor John Piper. In the book he described his experience of having a total loss in an accident, nobody was hurt and he could even buy a newer car for the insurance money that was paid. He concluded that was nothing but the grace of God. Things could have been much worst. I always knew that it was, but after reading it and describing it by John Piper in his words. I believed with a stronger conviction of God’s protection on me that day.
My second experience appeared in another dream that I just had this year. In that dream, I was with my cousin walking on the street at night. It was kind of dark, we kept walking and just after turning at the corner, I saw a big bright cross shining in the sky. I remember I was so joyful when I saw it and kneel down immediately crying & praising the Lord.
Now, I believe Jesus came so that we could have abundant life not just in Heaven, but also in this world. God created the universe and everything in it. The bible says that we are created in God’s own image. He even gives us emotions to experience love, joy & even sadness. I believe everything He created is for our own enjoyment, so why then would He put us in this earth and let us suffer on our own terms. He must provide justice and a way out for us. This is how He demonstrated His love for us by sending his only son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and suffering. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. I believe Heaven is real, and what we experience in the life is just but a glimpse of the joy that we will experience when we get to meet our Creator.
I am a sinner and the devil will continue to tempt me to sin, but that doesn’t diminish the love that God has for me and that He will continue to give me strength to continue on this journey called life. I’ve experienced more & more peace and joy, have less want and more contentment in Christ as I have more & more faith in His word. I believe He will continue to shape me and mold me into the person He created me to be which is to serve in this world & reflect His glory. It is my hope that those of you who don’t yet know Him, will give room to Jesus who will dwell in your heart. When that happens, you will know that you are truly living.