Having as a child lived a very tough, miserable life in a boarding school where bullying and abuse were rife, my teenage years were spent searching for the love, security and peace of mind which had always seemed to elude me. I was aware of the falseness in my life and felt that I didn't fit into society. I knew I was searching for a true meaning to life and that there must be something more than I had experienced so far.
In my early twenties I tried many material things in order to be accepted and to bring me inner fulfilment, including trying to buy a boat and sail away to happiness, and also tried to buy a smallholding to escape the pressures of everyday life. I was starting to realise that outward circumstances cannot change the person inside.
It was at this time of feeling utterly hopeless, lost and rejected that I met some Christians who told me that God loved me very much and that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins.
I could not understand a word of this as I had decided there was not a God. As a student I had been made to go to church, it seemed to me to be a lot of tradition with no life in it at all – irrelevant and boring.
However, the thing that struck me about these Christians as I observed their lives and went to a few meetings, was their sincere faith and concern for me as a person. They really seemed to know this Jesus who they said had risen from the dead and was giving them a fresh start in life.
After some time, having spoken to several Christians, I felt myself being drawn to believe that what they were saying could be true. My life had not always been lived honestly and one day God showed me I was guilty and that I needed to be forgiven and stop being dishonest. The next day I was burgled and found a verse from the Bible which said 'don't lay up for yourself treasure on earth where moth and rust destroy or thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourself treasure in heaven, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also'.
At that moment I knew God was speaking to me, so told Him I wanted to lay up treasure in heaven and become a Christian. I knew He had heard me and although life was tough and confusing for some time after, was convinced I had become a Christian that night.
I know that God both loves and accepts me now, that I am forgiven, and that He has healed hurts and fears from the past. I know that when I die I am going to be with Him in heaven, not because I deserve to, but because I believe Jesus has paid for my sin when He died for me on the cross.
God has come to me and revealed Himself in a way I could understand. If it is your desire to find peace with God and the security this brings in such a troubled world – He can do the same for you.
Bob is a piano tuner by profession. He and his wife Rosemary are church members.