Born in a Christian family, I knew it was a Christian thing to go to church. At least, it was something cultural, something routine: every Sunday, I was practically singing songs to someone I didn’t know. Back then, Jesus Christ was only a ticket to heaven for me. At least, I thought to myself, I wouldn’t go to hell.
Being an only child, I was showered with lots of love; I never had to share it with anyone. It is a great blessing, but at one point it was a curse. It didn’t take me too long to realise that no one in this world will ever love me as much as my parents do. As I entered secondary school, I had high expectations of my friends, especially those who were close to me, that they were supposed to prize me like a jewel above any other. Of course, this mindset unfortunately led to many broken friendships and I fell from grace.
At the same time, God was working hard behind the scenes. He placed a very kind and godly woman, Mdm Persis, in my life. Till this day I still find how we met very amusing. I fell ill on the first day of my Secondary 2 all-level camp and she happened to be with my class, so she offered to take care of me before I was sent home to recover. After that incident, she actively invited me to meet up with her for prayers, short Bible studies during recess. God let me know, through her, that He is a God that I can depend on. However, being a typical human being, I only saw God as my ATM machine for the things I wanted; I saw him as no more than a genie.
In a flash I was done with secondary education but I left the school broken and numb. I just couldn’t seem to make right my relationships with others. I was frustrated and I was tired.
Having completed O Levels, I had a 5-month break awaiting me. So, what should I do for this entire time, I thought. In God’s perfect timing, he appointed Joshua, my current youth leader, to invite me for a special 3-month track at Singapore Youth For Christ (SYFC) called Project Serve (PS). Initially, I was hesitant because it was 9AM-530PM every day. But realising that it could very well change my life, God softened my heart and I decided to give it a shot.
I didn’t know what to expect. But there were many things God had set in place for me to discover. For the first time, I got to know what exactly Christians believed, the good news/ the gospel. And I’m not kidding — as a supposed Christian I didn’t even know what I believed in. I had never read the Bible and when some people asked me what I knew about God, I could barely describe who He was. I gave ultra-vague descriptions and I was struggling to even define what my hope was. But it was only the start of a greater journey.
Subsequently, God brought me to know Him, mainly through His people and His Word. I must say it was the first time I had seen people who love so sincerely and consistently and I knew it was impossible for anyone to be naturally like that. It had to be Jesus. This spurred me on to find out more about the Jesus that everyone there was talking about. By far, it is one of the most enlightening things that has happened in my life.
Who can you say will lay down his life for you so that you can be rescued? And it doesn’t even end there — Jesus Christ rose again after three days and conquered death. Furthermore, Christ Jesus is God. God is three-in-one. So powerful, so mysterious yet He goes to such an extent to love us and redeem us from our wretched selves. All this, done for the most undeserving: us; people who want to be god ourselves, thinking we would be better off by being our own masters. In fact, when we do that, we really don’t know what we are in for, which is eternal doom. Yet God is so gracious to offer us a solution that will bring us back to Him: by believing in Christ we may be forgiven and enjoy a relationship with Him again, without any fee. We just have to take it. And I took it.
Since then, my life has turned around drastically. No longer am I a slave to my own passions and expectations, no longer am I tied down by wounds. The truth of Christ has set me free to love Him and others. God has healed my scars with His never-failing love for me. I no longer want to hurt others because they have hurt me, but love them so that they may see how much Christ loves me.
I never knew knowing God is such a good thing. It’s unbelievably satisfying, not just for a short while but at every moment. Knowing Him surpasses everything I can achieve in this life; fame, material wealth, they are nowhere as fulfilling. For when I hold on to the things that this world can offer, my soul only ends up thirsting for more and I am left tirelessly chasing after things that can never satisfy me. Getting to know God, on the other hand, satisfies me more than anything else.
The change from living as my own king to living with Jesus as my King has not been easy, as it means re-orientating my thoughts and decisions to live a life pleasing to Him. However, I’m not left alone to do this. God has even given the free gift of the Holy Spirit, to help us live life His Way. It gives me great joy to be living under the God who has saved me by His grace!
We all have a God-sized void in our hearts, and no matter how we try to fill ourselves with things this world offers, the fact is that they can never satisfy our deepest longing. For we were created to have a relationship with Him, and apart from Him we can never find our true worth.
This is why I long for others to know this God that I know. It pains me to see my friends and people placing their hopes in anything else the world offers because the fact is, we will never be truly satisfied with worldly things. I no longer have to worry over things that are never meant to be in my control; God has filled my God-sized void. Will you let Him fill yours?