Overburdened by Evil in the World, and in Me
Daniel, 1st Congregation
I grew up in a small agricultural community in the rural, Midwestern United States with loving parents who tried to bring me up in the church and demonstrate God’s love to me. During my childhood, I was surrounded by a community of friends and family who consistently reminded me of my identity, and I had a growing spiritual foundation by the time I was a teenager. Still, despite good intentions, I didn’t have a personal relationship with the living God, and my faith consisted mostly of ideas that I understood and accepted about morality. I understood that it was wrong to lie or to be disobedient; but I didn’t really understand the seriousness of my own sin, God’s desire to love and protect His people, and the significance of Christ for our relationship with Him. I had accepted Christianity because it seemed reasonable.
Later, I moved away from home and started a life of my own. I continued to go to church mostly because I found comfort in the predictability of worship on Sunday. Eventually, I started to slowly drift away from God, and I struggled with sin. I, like Paul in Romans 7, “…don’t really understand myself…I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” I learned that life apart from God is hard. People hurt you. Relationships challenge you. Events overwhelm you. Still, despite my own wandering, God was faithful. He continuously sent people into my life, friends and acquaintances, to remind me of His love, fully exposed and demonstrated in Christ.
Eventually I was so burdened by the weight of my own sin and sin in the world around me, that I was willing to listen and respond to God’s call. I could finally let go of my own striving and truly ask God to intervene in my life. In response, He has blessed me in ways that I never imagined possible. I was introduced to a small church family that reminded me what it meant to love God and others. The need to study the Bible and for fellowship with other believers became personally important and meaningful. I was finally able to repent of my sin and entrust my life to Christ. Instead of constantly battling sin on my own, I could draw comfort from knowing, from Romans 8, that “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because [I] belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed [me] from the power of sin that leads to death.”
Earlier this year, I came to RHC in Singapore with this renewed understanding, and it is heartwarming to see the undeniable presence of God among His people in this church. All praise, honor, and glory to Him for reconciling us to Himself by the death of Christ. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow closer to God with everyone here.