Finding Light in the Crisis

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. Robert Frost

The crisis came to me in my late teens. It became the fork in the road, changing everything else in my life.

From my earliest years I remember God being important to me. Walking home from the skating rink, in my little prairie town, looking up at the star-studded, Saskatchewan night sky somehow I knew God was real. Mesmerized by his dazzling creation, I sang my own made up songs to him in my childlike way.

In my early teens I listened regularly to a radio program majoring on biblical prophecy. My mom and I sat riveted as we listened in our comfy living room. The preacher spoke about wars and horrific future events. His words were scary, but fascinating. One verse of the Bible in particular stuck in my mind. In Isaiah 59:1-2 the scripture says, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”

As an older teenager I became friends with a couple of other teens who had found the Light. They encouraged me to seek that same Light, but I had found other interests by this time. I thought, maybe later I’ll seek God. But first I wanted to enjoy the world, its pleasures and its sins. Yet I was floundering-bored, lonely, and purposeless. Yes, the Light was beckoning me. But I refused-I pushed God away to seek my own path.

Then came the “crisis” that would forever change my life. To an outsider it might seem insignificant, but to a confused, lonely teenager it was a crisis indeed. It came in the form of a decision. I was being pressured to work closely as a volunteer with a demanding, authoritarian person. I didn’t know what to do. I sensed the decision was very important-so I was desperate to make the right choice. Fortunately I had enough spiritual background to know I could pray. So that’s exactly what I did.

It’s odd, isn’t it, how one type of crisis can lead to another? As far as I was concerned I needed guidance. I wanted God to tell me which fork of the road to take. I just wanted a simple answer. And so on my knees in my darkened room I prayed to God for direction. But a strange thing occurred while I was praying: the Light who loved me confronted me with a much bigger crisis, and carried me to a much bigger fork in the road. God reminded me of that Bible verse I had learned years ago, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” God used that truth to let me know I had a problem far greater than trying to make the right decision. He convicted me that I had many sins separating me from him. I was overcome with sorrow and contrition for my sins. I felt my great need to have those sins removed, and I knew I needed the Light in my life. So right then, forgetting totally the lesser crisis, I confessed my sin to God, I turned away from those sins and turned my face to him. I asked Christ to forgive and clean me of guilt, to come into my life and be my Lord and Saviour.

Immediately I sensed that my life had changed. I felt as though I had been washed. I had a new sense of peace and tranquility. I even looked different to myself-the face looking back from the mirror shone with joy. The other decision I had worried about was pushed into the background, and would be dealt with in a few days. But for now my new relationship with God was everything.

Shortly afterwards I found a community in a local church that embraced me, loved me and supported me in my new found walk with God. As I grew in my walk with the Light, little by little I found new purpose and new meaning. I also found answers to the why’s and how’s for a host of difficulties that life throws at us.

I found the Light when I was just a young man. Or perhaps I should say the Light found me. At this stage I have travelled many miles down the road less travelled with Jesus Christ. He is Light of the world-he has been my guide, my companion, the one who rescued and rescues me from sin. It has been a rich, rich journey. I have no regrets. No regrets of any kind.

published in www.thefountainpen.com April 10, 2016

Royal Hamel is ordained with the Alliance Church of Canada.
He is the author of, Unmuzzle Your Inner Sheep, a freelance journalist and past president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Guelph.
Contact him at watchman2003@sympatico.ca

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