by Graham Mol
I can remember a distinct time when God became real to me. In many ways the beginning of New Harvest in 2000 was also a beginning for me in encountering the Lord in a real and tangible way in my life. Growing up in a Christian home I had always known about God and certainly believed in Him, in a child-like way. At a Sunday School camp I remember “giving my life” to Jesus as I was moved to tears while the song Shine Jesus Shine was sung at one of the meetings during the camp. Yet it was when I was a teenager that I went from knowing about God to actually getting to know Him personally.
I remember having my mind blown at our first youth gatherings at NHCF. It felt like I had graduated from Bible Stories to proper Biblical Theology 101. There was so much more to being a believer that I did not know. Through the lessons and times of prayer and worship God started to show me what being a disciple is really like. I am forever grateful for the role that our temp youth pastor, Christy, and then official youth pastor, Laura, played in modelling for me what it means to truly follow Christ. Thursday night youth fellowship meetings were the highlight of my week, I was so hungry to know more about the Lord, to spend more time in worship, allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to my heart.
There have certainly been significant moments in my journey with the Lord. Wow moments, stern moments of being disciplined, tender moments of love and healing. Yet as I look back on my life up until this day I feel that there is one verse that so accurately describes my relationship with God:
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
God’s love for me, expressed through godly people in my life and most purely in Christ’s sacrifice, has enfolded me my whole life. Even when I did not realise it. Yet what joy it was when I first realised the depth and richness of His love. What blessed assurance it was to be called a child of God. I will never forget what it felt like when God became real to me.
The wonderful truth is that He loves you with the same everlasting love. He is drawing you with His kindness. If you have yet to experience the reality of His love, to have the eyes of your heart opened to His presence, my prayer is for that day to come soon.
In the words of Paul:
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)