Clarity. When everything finally falls into place and you feel at peace, at least this was my first experience with it.
However, the clarity I discovered was ironically found with the object which had previously confused me.
I have always believed that God existed and that the Bible was accurate. However, I had never experienced anything which made this belief meaningful and life-changing for me.
Whenever I would read excerpts of the Bible which seemed veiled in mystery, I would quickly get distracted or disinterested because quite frankly I didn’t know how I should be interpreting it.
So, I believed it was real but I figured that I would never get anything else out of my belief. This was my perspective until a series of events finally made sense.
The start of 2015 is when I was finally eligible for the opportunity I had been waiting 5 years for. A historical trip in Europe. I immediately signed up for the tour and made my first deposit. I was ecstatic that I would be able to visit my dream destination.
I clearly remember the afternoon when I got home and thought that I should check my emails. There was one new email from the trip’s coordinator.
“We regret to inform you that….”
The entire trip had been cancelled.
Considering how excited I was for the trip, and my lacking interest in God at this time, my reaction and first thought was unusual.
‘It’s okay, God’s got a plan for this.’
I felt content, unbothered and unquestioning as to why that was my thought.
When I informed my family that the trip had been cancelled I also offhandedly mentioned “It’s okay, I’m not bothered because I know God has a plan for this. Anyway, I think I would like my first trip overseas to be a mission trip.”
Everyone was surprised by my peaceful reaction and I didn’t think anything more about the situation until one early Saturday morning six months later.
‘You are going to go on a mission trip and you are going to teach English.’
This phrase repeated itself over and over again in my mind from the moment I woke up until I entered my Sabbath school class later that morning.
I wasn’t fazed by the occurrence until I sat down and the Sabbath school leader announced to the group “We have an exciting opportunity available for us to go on a mission trip to Indonesia and teach English.”
I was stunned, and as the details of the trip were revealed the events from the past few months finally fell into place. Down to the exact dates of the trip when I was meant to be in Europe.
I wish I could say that it was at this moment that I realised how much a God actually meant to me in my life. However, that didn’t happen yet. I went on the trip and every group Bible study seemed to answer the exact question I had in my mind that morning. For the first time, I felt truly at peace.
When I returned to Australia, I wanted to keep learning more and for the first time I picked up my Bible and just began to read. Not putting pressure on myself to find the answer instantly but trusting something would result from the process.
Three days into this process I finally stumbled across a verse which made me understand why I hadn’t found anything meaningful in my past half-hearted attempts at reading the Bible.
“16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NIV)
It finally made sense to me. I was finally at a point where I was seeking answers and I wanted to learn more about God, not just skim the surface of a Biblical story. In my search for answers I had finally found peace.
You might believe that everything that happened was a big coincidence; and that’s okay. However, I can say with absolutely certainty that I have no doubt in my mind that these events were the result of something far greater, and far more meaningful then a coincidence.
This experience is something that didn’t come solely from a book which many people try to call into disrepute. Rather, it was a real experience that I lived through and made me want to seek a more meaningful understanding of who God was to me.
“7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
– Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)