Friday, November 23, 2012

Ebenezer: Greatest Gift

As I wrap up this week of thanksgiving blogs, I have to pause to recognize the greatest provision of God in my life. The blessings of a wife and children, fulfillment of vision, and even rescue from dire circumstances are all inferior to the most powerful intervention. God willingly chose to step into the gap and provide payment for me through His Son.

Some of my friends can point to a specific date when they were baptized as the day that everything changed for them. They look back with fondness and can recall exactly how that experience unfolded for them. I have a tendency of making things more difficult than they have to be so my story isn't told with the same precision and finality. I grew up in church and remember being baptized at a young age when other people were doing the same thing. I knew that I believed in Jesus, but didn't know what it meant to follow Him with my life.

When I reached my junior year of high school I left the church. For several years I only attended for non-religious reasons and set aside the beliefs of my childhood. After I was married and Dana was attending church in Ormond Beach, I made the decision to reconnect with what I once believed & practiced. I didn't have any doubt that I was "saved", but wasn't sure about the question of re-baptism. Our pastor told me that if I had any doubts it wasn't wrong to be re-baptized & could be beneficial to me if it helped solidify my relationship.

I share all of this to say that my relationship with God has been one of working out my salvation with fear & trembling instead of one revelatory moment. It has been a lengthy journey of discovery for me and continues to be in a lot of ways. My thankfulness in my wandering is due to one great moment in history: when God decided that His Son would bear the pain for my sin so that I could be set free. Even though I took my time getting to this point, the freedom that I was seeking had already been provided for in one instance of sovereignty and obedient sacrifice. Our salvation stories don't look the same, but that doesn't negate the powerful provision of a God who works to draw His people to Him.

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