Part One - Rebellious?
Who am I?
God´s little rebel? God´s wayward child? God´s stubborn little donkey?
There have been times in my life that I have been all of those things and a great deal more. None of them very complimentary from a Christian viewpoint, to be sure.
Unfortunately, we are not born as God´s children. Adam and Eve saw to that way back in the beginning of things. However, God has never stopped wanting us to be His children, and in His grace and mercy He immediately gave us a way to return to the sweet preciousness of being His child. It is sad that so many think that just because we are His creation we are automatically His children. Not so. That is perhaps the greatest of the enemy´s lies. A great deception to blind millions to the truth. Our enemy, by the way, is Satan, and he is very clever. Don´t underestimate him, or you will be sorry.
I grew up in a Christian family. My great grandfather was a circuit-riding preacher. I had uncles who were deacons. Family members who were Sunday School teachers. The church doors opened and I was taken inside, sometimes kicking and screaming. Sometimes angry and sullen. Never joyfully or gladly. I´m not quite sure why. I had grown up in the church, weekly going to choir practice, Sunday School, Bible studies, etc. I knew all the right answers to all the questions. Who is God? Who is Jesus? What did Jesus do for us?
Maybe “us” was the key word to my lack of understanding. My answer was “He died for our sins on the cross” and I thought that was the end of it. I knew I had to be good and I thought that if I was good enough, I would go to heaven when I died.
Really, how many children even know what death implies? I didn´t. I thought it was what happened to people over 30 until I was about 10 years old when I decided it happened to people over 40. (The age of death has been taking a steady march toward higher numbers all my life so it will stay ahead of me.)
Back to the key word “us”…. I grew up with no understanding that I could not be a Christian just because members of my family were. I grew up with no understanding that it was an individual, not a collective, decision. I knew all the answers, but did not understand that I had to personally apply them to my life. I had the head knowledge, but not the heart knowledge. I would be 26 years old before I moved that knowledge from its storage place in my head to the throne of my heart. I can´t place the blame for my lack of understanding on the church. We had a great pastor. Even I liked and respected the man. But somehow I totally missed out on the part about the decision to do something with that knowledge being a personal one.
A rebel? Who me? You better believe it. In an age of free love, pot, and wild partying that were my college years, I remained untouched by them all. I was not particularly interested in men romantically at that time of my life. They were okay to go rock climbing or hiking with, but beyond friendship, no thanks. Pot didn´t interest me in the least. It grew wild all over the river bottoms where I was reared. Literally, it was a weed. Why would anyone want to smoke that stuff? It stunk worse than tobacco. Wild parties? I went to a few. Was the designated driver. I can clearly remember watching my friends and classmates making fools of themselves and knew I had no interest in being a fool. May not sound like much of a rebel, but believe me, in my heart I was truly a rebel. I had a deep dislike for authority and everything that went with it. And yet God was obviously keeping a protective hand on my life.
How was God protecting me? Part Two will explain.