Distant, removed, unknowable.
It’s been 20 years, but if you had asked my 13-year-old self what I thought about God, those words would have been at the top of the list.
I had grown up in church, I knew the stories of Christ, I had sung the songs. Yet God didn’t feel close. It wasn’t until someone asked me “Matt do you actually have a relationship with Christ?” that God began to change my view. The day that question was asked of me I remember feeling as John Wesley wrote that “my heart was strangely warmed."
It wasn’t through a sudden bolt of lightning that God revealed himself, but through the love of my family, the kindness of my friends at church, through someone simply asking me, “do you have that relationship?” That day, I realized that God was love, that he was for me, no matter how small or insignificant I was, and that I wanted to know God personally. I accepted him as my Savior.
After that day there was a change. It was God showing me grace. It was him slowly having me see the world like he sees the world. I wasn’t baptized at that time because it wasn’t something done in that church; however, I accepted Christ that day and stated it in front of my church.
God has spent 20 years working through my life. My faith has wavered at times, but God’s work hasn’t finished, and it hasn’t wavered. I’ve not been baptized as an adult, because God never led me to until recently. Now, I partake in the symbol that God has made me new, and it has been happening more than 20 years.