I can relate to all these questions so well. Prior to 2007, I was asking these same questions. Prior to 2007, I believed in God’s existence; however, I did not feel His existence in my life. Within a 32-hour period of time on the weekend of March 24, 2007, I had my conversion experience, I was born again, I moved towards accepting Jesus Christ as my savior, and my heart changed. I remember thinking to myself, how am I going to change after experiencing just a deep and real experience with our loving God? How do I respond to this? What am I supposed to do?
Prior to that amazing weekend, my life was in somewhat of a tailspin for about 6 years. People close to me died, a friend’s child died at the age of six, 9-11 happened in the area where I grew up in suburban New York City, the Aggie Bonfire collapsed and twelve students died (I helped to stack three of these), the Dallas economy took a hit in 2003-2007, my business had a downturn when a major employer moved out of our office building, and I was internalizing the anxiety that many of my patients were experiencing. We all can agree that this life is hard. This life does not often turn out the way we would have expected. This life very often darkens us, makes us a bit cold and selfish, makes us more self-centered, makes us want to get what we deserve, makes us cynical, and very often turns us away from religion and God. This life can be so hard and so unfair.
On top of this, we all have desires for this life on earth. We want to be loved, we want to be wanted, we want to be appreciated, we want to be a part of something important and greater than ourselves, we want to leave our troubles behind, we want more from this life, and we perhaps want more from our relationships. So what do we do? Oftentimes, we look for love in all the wrong places, we often find we do not get the appreciation we feel we deserve, and we join organizations like Junior League, fraternities and sororities, gangs, social cliques, the NAACP, the NRA, or whatever. There is nothing wrong with any of these examples of organizations. However, these organizations are not going to be the ones which fully satisfy our inner desires. Our inner desires often are never at rest because we are not feeding them properly. We may even try to “keep up with the Jones.”
So here we are, oftentimes, with difficulties in this life, with inner desires that are never fully satisfied, and it is up to us to find what we lack. This is where being a Christian fits in. I know because I was in this darker place we have been discussing. I finally found that which was going to satisfy me, much more fully. I found that having a relationship with our loving God, that finding Jesus Christ in my life, that letting go of control of my life, and opening myself up to God’s presence and effect on my day and life, allowed me to release and let go of those things that caused me anxiety and pain. I learned that Jesus died on that cross for my sins, for my turning away from God, for the errors in my ways, and for my feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. I learned that God loved me so unconditionally that He allowed His son to die in the hands of mankind. I learned that I am made in God’s image, just as everyone else is, I learned that I was more worthwhile, that I was a part of something much greater than myself. I found that the Kingdom of God also exists within this earth, if only we can be open to seeing it. It is there, and it provides my life with so much more. In knowing that we all are made in God’s image, I feel a connection with all people of all nations of all races. We are all made in God’s image. And for those baptized in Christ, we are all adopted sons and daughters of God. We belong to something so much greater than this world can offer. We belong to God! We baptized are Jesus to others today, to love others, to treat others kindly, to provide justice for all mankind, to generously give of ourselves, and to strongly and courageously share with others this truth that we have found in Christ.
So why be a Christian now? My relationships are so much more meaningful, I have joy like I have never had, my insecure feelings are easily defeated, I have more confidence, I know more fully now who I am as a child of God, I love all others, I am a better father, a better husband, a better employer, a better dentist, a better son, a better church member, a better person, and a better friend. I am more comfortable in my own skin. I know I am a member of the greatest organization on earth, that of being a baptized member of the family of God, that of being a dedicated Christian. Should you delay this whole Christian thing and delay joy, happiness, confidence, strength, humility, kindness, generosity, faith-filled-ness, hope-filled-ness, and being more relaxed. Really, delay all this? Is this gain as a Christian worth-while? In this life, oh yeah; in the next life, eternally yeah!
And yes, I have given up some of what I wanted in this life to be a dedicated Christian. However, by having this special relationship with God, I have found so much more, my life is so much better even with all the garbage we all have to put up with in this life. God has shown me things that I never would have had. And my joy is overflowing. Should you delay this?
If you have more interest, please ask about this from a trusted minister or pastor. Please ask a loyal Christian friend. For more on faith issues written by me on this website, I invite you to follow this link. Feel free to message me from this website. This is that important.