A 17 year-old high school student, I began to wonder whether God was real. I was a bit of a nerd, and so I went to a nearby library to thump through several books explaining the major world religions; but God still eluded me.
Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper to get to more satisfying answers. The Bible says that we find the Lord when we earnestly seek Him; and this also applies in my case. However, looking back I find that I didn’t have to push very hard to move heaven’s door, it opened relatively quickly. And the Lord addressed the question at hand when He first introduced Himself to me.
“Hi! I am God. Pleased to meet you. By the way: I do exist!”
Having grown up in an agnostic household, a living God who loves me was a great revelation to me.
Different people have different stories with God. Here is Saul’s story: Saul fell off his high horse literally and figuratively speaking when he was on his way to Damascus. Jesus appeared to him in the middle of the road, interrupting his trip. Staring at the apparition Saul could not figure out who He was. So he asked Him [Acts 9:5]:
“‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked.
‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.”
Previously, Saul had killed many followers of Christ thinking he was doing God a favor. It broke his heart to realize that he had been murdering God’s people all along. The incident on the road left Saul blind and helpless. He was brought to a house somewhere in Damascus where he sat utterly depressed, refusing to eat and drink. After three days of blindness God inspired a local named Ananias to pray with him. After his prayer Saul regained his eyesight.
When Saul, a law-abiding Jew was confronted with Jesus, the Son of God it was as if he met God for the very first time. God’s initial introduction went probably something like this:
“Hi I am God and I am gracious. Forget everything you thought you knew about Me. You thought you could see? Indeed you were blind. You thought you were an exemplary Jew? Now you realize that you have the blood of innocent people on your hands. – But do not despair; there is good news for you: My Son Jesus came to extend a hand of mercy. You are forgiven. You get to start over.”
Salvation is offered to all people. The Lord wants to draw us near so we are no longer strangers but cherished friends of God.