When asked to give my own experience about how the Lord came into my life (Testimony), I have to say that although I do so with joy in my heart, I also give my story with sadness. Why? Well itís because when I look back over the last 12 years of my life as a child of God I see so many things wrong, that I wonder if a change came into my life at all.
I do not say this to discourage anyone, I say it as more of a rebuke to myself and encouragement to others, Where is the encouragement? Well I hope if you read on, by Gods grace you will see how He can change someoneís life for the better.
I was born and brought up in a home and by parents who believed in God. I suppose most people brought up on the Island of Lewis can say the same. I grew up always believing that there was a God and that there was a Heaven and hell, and I suppose looking back there was more to Heaven and hell than just the good going to one and the bad going to the other.
I was taught that you had to put your faith in Jesus to be saved. For a young boy growing up this was too much to take in. So to cut a long story short, I went through my young life knowing all about God and Jesus, heaven and hell, good and bad, and at that age I new enough, or at least I thought I did.
Now in my late teens I wanted to explore life. I wanted what everyone else my age had, cars, money, girlfriends and nights out. It all came and it all went just as quick.
At the age of 20 my brother and my best friend (Iain) where converted within 3 months of each other, (I use my friends name for a reason which you will see if as you read on).
My best friend had been saved! What is left for me now? Nobody to go out with at weekends! I had other friends, good friends at that, so what was stopping me? Was I jealous?
Deep down I probably was, but if the truth be told, I was really scared, and it was my upbringing that told me I was scared. So what did I do? Did I pray, plead, read my Bible? No, I ran! I ran in the opposite direction. Mentally and physically I ran away from God.
The opportunity arose for me to go away to London to work and I grabbed it. Off I went full of great expectation, but that didnít last long, I was home within 8 months. I must say I enjoyed my brief stay their, I would be lying if I said otherwise, but this is not what God wanted for me.
I was made redundant and I came home. I made good friends there who will always be friends, ones that I planned to go back and see one day.
A year passed and then something terrible happened. My friend (Iain) was diagnosed with cancer. He was only 20!
What kind of God does this or allows this to happen? Not the God my mum and dad told me about, but how wrong I was. God allowed this to happen for a reason, a very special reason.
A number of months after Iain was diagnosed with cancer he started going down hill very fast. It was not very nice to sit and watch someone close to you wither away so quickly.
At this stage I decided to go away on holiday to London for a few days with a friend of mine from work. I never reached London. We got as far as Glasgow when I got a phone call to tell me that lain was not well at all. I decided to come back home. I reached Inverness on the way back when I got another call.
lain had died!
I did not manage to get home in time to see him before he passed away. To be honest I did not know how to react or what to think or say. I was numb from head to toe.
I eventually reached home not knowing what to expect. I was very close to all Iainís family, and I just wanted to be there for them. The day of his funeral arrived, the day for everyone to come and pay their last respects. It was this very day that changed my life, changed my way of thinking, basically changed everything.
The first thing I remember was standing over the open grave, looking down and thinking, ďIf that was me where would I be going?Ē I knew the answer!
That night his family were having a gathering in there home (a common practise in the Islands) and I decided to go along with a friend. It was I suppose as a mark of respect, but it was a night I will never forget as long as I live. This was the night I believe the Spirit of God opened my eyes and my heart.
This family had just buried their son and brother yet they could find something within themselves that made them sing, praise God and even laugh. They had something that I did not, and the amazing thing is I knew it!
I left that house in the early hours of the morning knowing that there was something different about the way I was thinking. I had to have what these people had and feel what they felt, and I had to have it now!!
That was the night that changed my life.
God had taken someone close to me away to be with Himself, and He used that time to bring me to a realisation that I needed to be saved, and not only did God do this for my benefit but also for Iainís brother who was converted through a similar experience on the same night.
From that time I started seeking the Lord earnestly, scared that I might die before I found Him. Each day from then God drew me closer to Himself and I came to trust in Him with my whole heart.
I trust my life with Him, and I believe that when I die I will be with Him in Heaven. I also know that I do not deserve His love and free gift of life everlasting, but there is one thing I do know, I canít live without God, Iíve tried and it doesnít work.
That is how the Lord came into my life. I would urge anyone who is not saved nor has no interest on Jesus to stop and think for one moment.
Ask yourself one simple question.
What is going to happen to me when I die?
Where am I going to spend eternity?
Well friends if you choose to reject Jesus and continue living in sin there can only be one outcome, which is darkness, eternal separation from God, pain and suffering, the list is endless.
I plead with you to seek the Lord Jesus before it is too late. Why will you die in your sins? God does not want this for you. He wants you to call out to Him today, ďWHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVEDĒ. And he promises to answer anyone who comes to Him.
Isle of Lewis, Scotland