I go to church and pray and above all I BELIEVE. Years ago when I prayed, I don't know, I just had a feeling He was listening. It didn't always make all my problems go away, but I still felt his presence, I guess. But now when I pray, most of the time I feel like He isn't listening or He just doesn't care. I really haven't committed any terrible sins in my life... the usual white lies here and there, but no mortal sins. Even when I did sin I prayed for forgiveness and tried not to make the same mistake. Now, I feel like God has abandoned me and I don't know why, but I can't handle this pain anymore. What I want is for God to take me home. I don't belong here.
My response is in Green:
I truly do understand your wanting to go home to heaven, I feel like that too. What keeps me wanting just one more day, is the thought of those who are going to hell without knowing Jesus Christ. Is there one or two of them that I am to reach? If I don't speak to them, if I don't answer their e-mail, will they never accept Christ? I know whether they do or whether they don't it will be their decision, but I want to do what I can to make sure they have as many chances as they can have.
If you read my testimony you will know that I accepted Christ when I was young, but then I strayed and lived a very immoral life. During that time I made a great friend. His name was Bill. He was closer to me than even my brother. We got separated (both of us were in the military) when I was sent to the west coast. While in California, I met my present wife and we got married. She was raised Catholic but had not been going to church. She was disillusioned with the church but yet felt she wanted to know God. So she asked me to find us a church and go with her. I did and I watched as she sat like a child and cried through service after service. I asked her about it and she told me that she had never heard anything like this before. Anyway, to make a long story short, she gave her life to Christ and as a result I rededicated my life to Him.
I had very little contact with Bill during this time. He was in the gulf. Then one day I got a call from another friend who told me he had been flown back to the states and was in the Mayo clinic. He was paralyzed from the waist down. They thought it was MS, but it was occurring faster than it does in most people. On Friday I called and spoke to him on the phone. I knew he was scared, I could hear it in his voice. My heart was breaking for him, I knew he did not know God. I wanted to tell him about Christ but I was afraid. I thought, this is a guy that used to go out and get drunk with me and he knew all the terrible things I have done in the past. What will he say if I start talking like a Bible thumper? Will he laugh at me? I just could not bring up the subject. He told me he was going to have some experimental treatments done the next week. I managed to get out; "Bill, I will pray for you." To my surprise, he did not laugh, he said thank you. I hung up. I felt terrible, I knew God had been telling me to speak to him, but I just could not do it. My wife kept telling me if I really loved Bill I had to tell him about how much God loved him. This went on for about a week, until Wednesday evening. I decided that if God would help me, I would speak to Bill about Jesus and about his need for salvation. I decided to call him again on Friday.
On Thursday evening I received a call from our mutual friend; Bill had died that afternoon. That has been about 8 years and I am in tears now as I think of Bill being separated from God for eternity. I don't know if he would have listened and accepted Christ or not. All I know is that I did not give him the chance. I pray that one day in heave Bill will come up and tap me on the shoulder and tell me he made it without my help, because some other Christian did what I refused to do. If he did not make it, then I am sure if he could speak to me he would beg me to not let this happen to anyone else.
My life might be miserable here on earth and I know it would be much better in heaven with Christ, but I own it to Christ to try to reach as many people whom He loves (with is everyone) as I can.
You said you don't belong here. I agree with you, none of us do. We are different than the world now. However, I was thinking one day about why God keeps us here. You know it is not so we can have careers, or make money (He does not need our money), it is not so we can bring more babies into the world, it is not so we can build beautiful churches, it is not so we can pay for our past sins through suffering (Christ already paid the debt in full on the cross), so why does He leave us here? Then it came to me; the only reason God does not rapture Christians out of the world the moment they accept Christ, is because He wants to use us to reach the lost. Paul said it in this passage: (Romans 10:14 NIV) "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"
So as miserable as I am sometimes, I will try to do what God has called me to do and what He has kept me here to do. Sorry if I sounded like I was preaching, I did not mean it to be preaching, just explaining that I also would like to be with Christ and away from these struggles and burdens, but I want others to have that hope that someday they too will be free from this world and in a better place not a worse place.
You've found something to do with your life (something noble, by the way), a meaning. I have yet to find a meaning and I doubt I will find one.
Yes I have and I praise God for that. I am extremely blunt sometimes but I don't know how else to say some things. So here it is; I know God has a plan for you too. You will only take another breath if God ordains it, otherwise you will cease to live. Every breath that you take is given by God. My point is if He is keeping you alive there is a reason. Before you were saved it might have been to give you the chance to obtain salvation, but now that you are saved it has to be another reason.
I am sorry this is so blunt, but it is time to take the focus off of you and put it on Christ. What does He want? What is your purpose in His eyes? You said I have found a purpose, no God gave me a purpose. I had no idea what He was asking of me when I first posted my testimony. I figured no one would ever see it anyway. That was over 4 years ago and over 250,000 hits ago too.
There were many dark days in those 4 years. Times when I was being attacked from all sides. I called out to God more than once, that I was not capable to do this job. The amazing thing is that now as I look back over those times, it was when I needed Him most that I grew in faith and grew closer to Him. Without the struggles I would still be back where I was 4 years ago. Or maybe I would have drifted away again.
Take a look at the circumstance that God has placed you in and see where and how you can serve Him from there. I will guarantee you there is a way. It might not be what you want, but there is a way. If you are willing to look past yourself and trust Him there is a great reward awaiting you. It might just be the reward of getting closer to God, but oh what a wonderful reward that is.
I am sorry if I offended you. Again I don't mean to belittle your problems, I just know that God can use you and if you allow Him to you will benefit from it too.
E-Mail Ralph (Whose comments are in green)